Most of us have heard the following phrases exchanged in the workplace at least once or twice:“He’s kind of a jerk and nobody likes to work with him…but he’s great at what he does.”“We love her! She’s reliable and timely, the clients appreciate her, and she also excels at this job!”“Let’s hire this candidate. His resume is a little unconventional and he doesn’t have a ton of experience, but he seems great at what he does.”“I don’t know why I was laid off. Just last month my boss specifically told me that I’m great at this job.”What does it mean to be rewarded for your job skills? And why is this praise sometimes delivered independently of other aspects of performance, like timeliness, flexibility, and attitude? If you can answer yes to the following questions, your job skills are on track…Congratulations! But read between the lines; if you have to think too hard about your answers, you may want to polish the rest of your workplace persona.1. Are you often forgiven for mild lateness? Do you sometimes slip into meetings a few minutes after the start time, only to be greeted with smiles? Would your mild crimes bring a stern warning if they were committed by your coworkers? If so, try not to push these limits.2. Are you often called in as the “expert”? When your team requires a very specific, narrow knowledge base, are you the first one they turn to? A unique form of expertise can secure your value in the workplace… but make sure you’re also branching out. You don’t want to find yourself out on a limb someday if this narrow knowledge is no longer required.3. Are you praised by upper management but resented by your coworkers? This can be a sign of success…but also a sign of trouble. If you struggle to make friends or gain the trust and respect of your peers, focus on your teamwork and social skills. Don’t expect your job skills (like production quotas or sales numbers) to carry your entire career.5. Are you granted very loose deadlines for your work, or none at all? If your clients or bosses trust you to complete excellent work and express this trust by giving you extremely flexible completion dates, recognize what’s happening, and keep in mind that nothing comes for free in this life. As trust goes up, so do expectations.6. Are you offered an unusual degree of flex time and remote working hours? Are you the only one in the office who works from home all day, every day? If so, consider this a compliment and a testament to your reliability. But be careful…Losing touch with the office or missing face-time can put your career in jeopardy, even when it’s granted as a reward for excellent performance.