Anal Retentiveness has its Benefits

By Aryong Lim

Have you heard of the term, ‘anal-retentive’? It’s a psychoanalytic term for describing a person who obsesses over details of all kinds so much that it gets other people (the normal humans, usually) extremely annoyed. An anally retentive person notices even the slightest of things; say, an anally retentive boss will notice even the littlest of typing mistakes or wrong grammars in your report. Or an anally retentive coworker will make it a point to rub your 1-minute, 24 seconds lateness all over your face.

On the ‘receiving end’ of the line, anal retentiveness certainly is a negative trait. Would you like to work for someone who you can only wish to beat in the ‘keeping secrets’ category? How can you succeed in a working environment that keeps a CCTV camera in the form of a living, breathing, and ‘just-sitting-beside-you’ human, anyway?

anal retentive Anal Retentiveness has its BenefitsCareer building is at least three-fourths about avoiding committing mistakes. Having an anally retentive immediate superior in your sales job, for instance, will blow away your quota lies agenda every single time. Same goes for those with marketing jobs and IT jobs (actually, just about every type of job there is in the Lion City)–professionals can only hope to execute a successful covering up strategy to fool them. Your anal retentive boss will notice ‘the stain’ and he will surely point it out in your face.

So, where are the benefits to anal retentiveness, then?

Obviously, the benefits of anal retentiveness are mostly for the company as a whole. Having a manager or supervisor who loves to observe so much that they can rival hungry predators in the animal kingdom is like paying for both a high-powered CCTV camera and a motivator of rank and files to do their bests everyday in a very discounted amount. It doesn’t only ‘inspire’ employees to give every task they get all they’ve got, but also as a whole, earn the company a good place in the corporate fast lane.

If you’re the anal retentive person, what are the benefits? It just makes you NEW enemies every single time, right?

Actually, no. Many experts actually believe that anal retentiveness is a gift as far as hard-edged jobs are concerned. It may be annoying to the coworkers, but for you, the anal retentive, it can only mean either or both of these two things: a promotion and/or salary increase. Use the ‘talent’ to help spot and point out potential money losers, but avoid creating enemies in the process. You can be helpful about naming mistakes from coworkers without pissing these people off–point them our in a friendly manner, no malicious tones or whatsoever. That’ll do it.

You can also be very useful during meetings, particularly so if you’re assigned to do all the note taking.  You see, you just have to avoid sounding so cocky whenever you voice out your anal retentive observations.

For your own workload, the benefit is all about helping you create great, if not flawless, reports/ presentations. If you’re very attentive to details, it is only obvious that you’ll only produce greatness. You may take time finishing up tasks, but they surely will earn you accolades.



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