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Top 16 Pros and Cons of Being a Perfectionist at Work


A perfectionist is a type of person who does not accept a work if it is not done in a standard equivalent to being perfect and this behaviour can stress out a lot of people surrounding the person.

Some might say that such people are delusional or are not in their right minds. When such perfectionist behaviour is shown in an excessive manner it can cause problems for other individuals especially in situations that require teamwork.

Such individuals give extra attention to detail and perfection rather than consistency of the output. This characteristic when shown in moderation, can be beneficial for the individual in a lot of situations. When being a Perfectionist, you will be sharing both positive and negative traits in you.

Perfectionist at Work Pros Cons

Pros or Benefits of Being a Perfectionist at Work:

1. High standards:

Since perfectionists have a high personal standard, it is easy for the individual to meet the standards of clients, colleagues and higher ups. If a person have a low standard of doing their work, they usually have to work hard to meet the conjectures of others.

On the other hand, perfectionists already have a high standard. It is relatively easy for them to meet the expectation of clients and others. Perfectionists usually have a nearly impossible standard set for themselves and they strive hard to achieve the goal.

2. High efficiency:

Most perfectionists are well organised in their work schedule and they are usually hyper organised. They usually set the activities of their personal life in such a way that they work hand in hand with their professional life. This results in a more streamlined work process for such individuals. This means, that in many cases, the works done by a perfectionist is more efficient and accurate than a non-perfectionist. Such individuals are able to produce an output to virtually any kind of problems being presented to them.

For example, they can do works from sending emails to bookkeeping with utmost efficiency and precision. Such individuals can keep up with work in a busy environment and hence can increase the productivity of the company.

3. Polished result:

One of the perks of being perfectionist is that by the time your work is presented to the client, it will be all polished and will be a perfected product. Your work and the plans will also be crystal clear and your development schemes will also work properly.

People will also see your work as a perfect example and try to refer it for reference purposes. Your colleagues will also wonder, how you managed to get the time and patience to produce such a work with great accuracy and precision. Such a behaviour will also provide you with more works in the future and earn respect among colleagues and the supervisors.

4. Attention to detail:

Perfectionists have a great attention to detail and apart from being polished, they are very meticulous about the various attributes of the work given. Perfectionists often work hard and go that extra mile to add more detail to the output. This is what sets the perfectionists apart from the rest of the crowd.

They try to think of details, that the others may not even have noticed before and tries to include that in the output. This creates a positive impression for the client towards the employee. This is even applied to all your plans, schemes and future projects.

Clients usually feel happy when employees give extra attention to detail to their jobs. This can increase not only for them but also for the organisation for which the employee is working. Perfectionists try to ensure that they always try to meet beyond the client’s expectations.

5. Fewer fixes are needed:

Since perfectionists spend a lot of time in perfecting their output, even if there are flaws present, they are a few in number. This is because perfectionists try to prevent any errors from happening and try to be as meticulous as possible. If any errors do happen, those are easy to find and can be easily removed in the future.

So, not much of time and money is spent to find out the flaws present in a project output before presenting it to the client. This means that the clients and the users are happy in using the final perfected output.

6. Taking up challenges:

Perfectionists always try to upgrade themselves and also try to update their skill set with every given opportunity. These skill sets are used by the individual to produce a near to perfect product that can please everyone.

Hence, such people are very eager to take up challenges and other problems and try to complete it as perfectly as possible. These problems can include learning about a new system for technique, teaching new employees about the work culture of the company, studying about a new machine or a new gadget and so on. These type of individuals are an indispensable part of the company and the society.

7. Perfectionists are great at organising:

Perfectionists have great organisational skills. They tend to set everything in order and try to de-clutter as much space as possible. They have pet peeve of loosely organised tables and workbenches. They try to be as neat as possible. Hence in such a manner, both the person and his/her colleagues can benefit from this habit, since they can easily concentrate on doing their jobs in a clean and organised environment.

8. Great at catching errors:

Perfectionists cannot stand making errors. They try to finish the job perfectly and review their work for catching a few mistakes. They love the fact that their work should be so perfect that people should count on them. This makes perfectionists happy.

Moreover, they also hate the fact that many other employees rush and submit incomplete and imperfect work. So, they try to give other employees constructive criticism on how to do their jobs properly. Because, in the long run, people who do not do their jobs properly, may get laid off. Perfectionists are seldom given the boot because they are a valuable asset to the company, since their results have consistent accuracy and precision.

9. Great analytical skills:

Perfectionists have great analytical skills. They have great knowledge about the subject and try to use them in every field that they work in. They try to think of every scenarios and situations and make a product based on it.

They are not afraid to as “what if” questions and are different from people who follow the textbook method.

Perfectionists are also great thinkers. They usually have brainstorming sessions to study about the different aspects on how to do a project and how to get a good result.

Cons or Disadvantages of Being a Perfectionist at Work:

1. Losing sight of the objective:

Since perfectionists are super detail oriented, they lose sight of the bigger picture and ultimately lose focus. This can happen in day to day life also. They get lost with the different details present in the project that they forget about what the actual project was.

Getting lost in fine details are easy for them and it is hard for them to come back. A great way to prevent perfectionists lose their concentration, is to constantly remind them of what their objective is and try to be moderately detail oriented.

Diversity can also be fruitful for perfectionists. Try to group them with people having different work styles, group them up with creative thinkers, innovators, and so on. This helps them to widen their horizons of thinking and make them more relaxed. Try to write down what all goals should be done in an organised manner and try to perfect those goals.

2. Perfectionists are usually socially awkward:

Since most of the perfectionists prefer to get the job done rather than socialising, they tend to be really socially awkward and can be highly introverted. They are so definite about details, that people might mistake them for a control freak.

Also, they should try to mingle with other people having traits like being a leader, people who are ambient extroverts and so on. This helps them to develop their leadership skills and helps them to be more confident to face people.

3. They are really slow:

Perfectionists are really slow when it comes to getting their job done. This is because since they are always so detailed, they try to check their finished work more than twice. This can slow down the productivity of the whole group and the team may not be able to submit the work in time. The best method to solve this problem is to set up time limits on getting a certain work done. This helps the perfectionists to get their job done.

Try introducing organized time schedules so as to complete a certain task within a time limit. Spending hours and hours of re-doing a finished task again and again just to get personal satisfaction, may not be productive at all.

4. They do not welcome changes:

Since perfectionists like to do their job in a certain way, they try to exercise control over people for it. They really do not like change or any other factor that can change their work methods and other practices.

The best way to combat this, is try to be as open minded as possible and welcome the change. Some changes might be good for employees, especially in a busy office environment. They can also use their perfectionist abilities to keep track of changes and document them for future references for other employees. Hence, try to use your habit so that it can be beneficial for others.

5. Longer development cycles:

As mentioned earlier, perfectionists tend to take up a lot of time getting the job done and it can result in taking up too much time in every step of the project. As an employee, that means more working hours given for a single project, delayed output, less number of works received, and hence less jobs to be done. Untimely received work way past the deadline can also make the clients unhappy.

Try to set up mini deadlines in each step of the project and make sure to stick with those deadlines. Hence, timely completion of work can be possible to an extent.

6. Incompatibility:

Perfectionists are really hard to work with. They can be so detailed oriented that it makes the people around them feel frustrated and irritated. Especially in a team. Most of them have control in how to do a job in a certain way and it can really make their colleagues mad at them.

Moreover, they can also drag the team just before the deadline, just because they were busy focusing on the details, they forgot what their real objective is. Most of the perfectionists tend to be awkward around groups so it can be hard for the colleagues and the supervisors to understand such individuals.

7. Fear of failure:

Perfectionists always have the fear of failure or not getting the job done. This is because most of the perfectionists strive on the accomplishments that they receive on getting the job done.

When they are unable to achieve a certain factor, it can add to their negative effects of perfectionism self-esteem and can cause depression.

To avoid this from happening, try to encourage such individuals and remind them how much of a valuable person they are to the team and to the company.

Perfectionist Employees are Manageable, but What About Perfectionist Clients?

Those people can also be a pain to the employees working under him/her. If a perfectionist employee is present, they can easily deal with such clients. Since, such clients know what they want, they can easily pinpoint to his/her employees what they actually want to see in a project and what all characteristics should be present in the finished project. This helps the whole team to narrow down their goal and makes them easier to achieve the end result.

Such clients can make the employees feel uncomfortable, since their attention to detail can get annoying and they may ask for clarifications on why the work was done in a certain way. The best method to cope with them is to state reasons why and how it was done. This can help you build a long lasting relationship with such individuals and may actually make them impressed by your work.