Autonomy’s Potential Pitfalls

As an intelligent, skilled, professional woman (if I do say so myself!), autonomy is something I highly value in the workplace. I’ve spent my time researching best practices surrounding my job, and I feel the experience I do have allows me to be able to be a perfectly capable worker. I love autonomy – I love being able to do tasks I want to do with the freedom to explore the elements that interest me or that I feel are best for the organization. I love supervisors who allow me that flexibility in my job.

As great as autonomy can be, too much autonomy can actually have negative side effects. Watch out for these additional factors the next time you find yourself working with a great amount of freedom.

  • As tough as it is to admit, managers usually know more than you. Bosses are higher on the food chain for a reason. Maybe they have more experience, more skills, or better insight. Make sure you check in with your boss on a regular basis to ensure you aren’t dropping the ball on anything. It will be better for your project in the long run!
  • Beautiful things happen when you get a team working together. There’s nothing quite like exchange of ideas. No matter who you’re working with, that person has a different perspective on things than you do. Although you don’t simply want to be in meetings all day, it is exciting and valuable to get others’ opinions on your projects.
  • Where’s the praise? Working autonomously can mean working in a vacuum, which can make it hard for your boss to truly understand the effort and work you are putting in to something. Make sure when you’re in this situation you can show the work you’ve done, so that you are properly recognized and appreciated. Because we all need a little praise sometimes!

In the long run, when you feel confident in your abilities, autonomy is one of the best elements of a perfect job. Just be sure to remember these elements too when you finally get there.

-N.C.

2 thoughts on “Autonomy’s Potential Pitfalls

  1. I agree, I really enjoy the autonomy, but I’ve found that often when I bounce my ideas off my business partner, clients and friends they get much better. The collaborative process does wonders for me in my work. – Dania

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