Although I’ve had some ridiculous ideas over the course of my career (tacos filled with dumplings, for example), I like to think that I’m not just a big-picture thinker, that when necessary—that I can be trusted with the details. And based on the fact that I’ve managed to juggle two writing jobs and three inboxes for almost two years, I often felt confident in my ability to dot my I’s and cross my T’s consistently.
Sure, there were times when I’d submit something in haste and realize that I forgot a step. (And if you try to tell me that this has never happened to you, I’m just going to call it like it as and say that you’re trying to get one over on me.)
But overall, I used to rate myself pretty highly. I use the past tense because this quiz just showed me that I might not be as good at the small things as I thought.
I’ll be honest, I bombed. Big time. I won’t share my exact score with you, but I promise you that it was about as low as you’d ever imagine someone performing on a quiz. In any case, it’s pretty obvious that I have not mastered the art of seeing all the details. And that I may or may not rush to finish something without double-checking I got it right.
Regardless of where you are in your career, chances are that you’ve thought about how to improve. If you take this quiz and aren’t thrilled with the results. Or if you feel like you’re always dropping the ball and don’t need the results of this to tell you that, Muse co-founder Alex Cavoulacos suggests doing a few extra spot-checks before you submit a project, or even respond to a colleague’s email. Simple, but effective things like listing out each part of a work product can really set you apart as someone who really is on top of it around the office.
Other tips I’d suggest (and need to start taking myself) include:
- Drafting emails to colleagues before you enter their email address, which reminds you to proofread before pressing send.
- Adding in a day to any project timeline so you have time to take a step back and take a fresh look.
- Creating checklists of everything little thing you need to do before submitting or clicking send, then actually looking at that checklist.
If you’re now very curious about how well you’d perform (or just want to see how bad I am by comparison), you can take the clerical ability test now.
If you happen to bomb it like I did, don’t worry. You should always have something you’re working on improving and this might be it. Plus, at the very least, it’s unlikely you’ll do worse than I did.