Work Doc is a workplace counselling segment where we invite Rojak Daily readers to send their experiences at work that they need help with. Email [email protected] or drop us a DM on Facebook or Instagram with your work place struggles and we'll get our contributing counsellor Hansel to help you.

The inaugural Work Doc segment comes from within our organisation and was something that has plagued them for the past two years.

"Two of my previous employers were really hands on in my development in the company and practiced 'Open and honest communication'. This meant that every week we would have open conversations about my performance at work and my shortcomings. This led to many meetings where I would freely be criticized about almost everything I did in the guise of honesty and self-development. My employer was never rude and earnestly criticized me in hopes that I would improve.

"Every week I felt even more demoralized, but my employer insisted this has worked for others and I needed to buck up. To no one's surprise I was eventually let go as I spiraled lower each week. This has happened twice to me! Is something wrong with me?"

- Mr. Demotivated

Hi Mr. Demotivated,

It seems that there was a mismatch of work expectations between the employee, you, and your employer. And it also sounds like the employer sincerely wanted you to improve, but did it in an unhealthy way and achieved the opposite.

I know it must be tough for you right now to process everything that has happened. Being labelled as a low-performer can become a self-fulfilling prophecy if not handled carefully. But failure at performing a certain job does not mean there is something wrong with you personally. It’s easy to fall into the trap of taking rejection/failure personally, but its not fair to ourselves to base our worth on one unfortunate incident.

I’d like to suggest taking this time to reflect not only on how things went wrong but also appreciate everything that went right for you in the past. Maybe it will help guide you decide on your future career as well.


Hansel Wong is a licensed counselor who helps people with relationship, workplace, or personal issues through his private practice, HanselCounsel, located in Petaling Jaya.

Need help with a workplace issue? Drop us a DM on Facebook or Instagram and we'll get our Hansel to help you work through your issues.