#70 Job Expectations: “I Don’t Know all the Answers at Work!”

don't know all the answers at work

Whether interview prepping or becoming familiar with your job, the pressure to perform can be daunting. If you tend to dwell on, “I don’t know all the answers at work,” dwell no longer. Learn why it is unreasonable to know all (or most) the answers.

I. Unnecessary Pressures

Do these statements linger in your mind as you go about the workplace?

  • “I should know how to do this.”
  • “What will they think if I mess up?”
  • “I’ve never done this before, and it makes me nervous.”
  • “How is this going to end up, I’m not sure if this is right?”

You get the idea. Every employee must manage doubtful moments. These moments can run together, creating a trail of anxiety, pressure, or chronic stress.

It may seem like you must know or instantly produce answers at work. It may seem like you let others down after making mistakes. However, this cyclic anxiety can lead to more severe problems if not recognized and addressed.

The great news is that you have discovered this blog post. Now, you can soak in the following ideas to mitigate your pressures and relieve some of that anxiety!

I am going to tell you why you don’t have to know all the answers at work.

II. You are a Problem-Solver  

It matters not if this is your first professional job, or if you’re an experienced employee. You insert an amount of expertise into your day-to-day. Such as the hard, technical skills or the “softer” power skills. And, you’re aware that there is always room to improve and evolve – true for everybody!

Your current job was created to fill an organizational gap. This gap is to be fixed by a problem-solver. This is where it’s your time to shine and to become a critical asset to your employer.

Due to the inherent nature of being a problem-solver, you are not required know all answers and solutions on the spot. Problem-solving presupposes you do not bring answers with you to the job… that you uncover the answers as part of the job.

Therefore, problem-solvers are not paid to know all the answers! You are literally paid to NOT know the solutions! Hence, it is an unnecessary burden to tell yourself “I don’t know all the answers at work!” 

You’re not supposed to know all answers!

III. You Weren’t Hired to Have all the Answers

Are you paid to have all the answers?

No. You are paid to exercise your best judgment in the situations bestowed upon you. Your employer relies on you to combine experiences, expertise, and work ethic with available resources to accomplish job tasks.

They rely on your judgment to defeat challenges and obstacles that block you from completing the job.

It is a beautiful relationship: you are provided a platform to try things, make mistakes and expand your brain power while getting paid.

The next time you’re tempted to scold yourself with “I don’t know all the answers at work,” remember this: you don’t need to know everything in the moment. That’s why you have a job.

If you enjoy this content, I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and ask me about free strategy sessions for your career!