It depends a lot on the chosen career. There is a conjunctural balance between effort and benefits.
We have some examples:
1) If you work in the financial / accounting department, then perfectionism is a quality, the numbers must be accurate.
2) If you work in the field of services, not everything has to be perfect, but there is a minimum of quality that must be achieved. That quality is your business card.
Q2: To what extent should people pursue perfection in their workplace and career?
To the extent that the job or service task requires it:
1) If a problem arises and the solution must be studied in detail in order not to repeat that problem, the emphasis must be on perfection.
2) If a problem arises, and the goal is to solve it without the need for a thorough investigation, then “perfection” should be pursued only to “good enough”
Example: In IT, if a productive server is going down, a thorough investigation is required to prevent the problem from recurring. If a test server is going down, detailed investigation is required only when the same event is repeated, and is not a “known issue”.
Q3: When is an acceptable goal “good enough”?
If we are talking about a company goal, when the metrics associated with the goal are achieved. If we talk about personal goals at work, the metrics are placed in the subconscious depending on the experience and “work style” of each. Examples of typologies of people: typicality, problem solver, creator, etc.
Q4: How can people tell the difference between the two?
Gaining experience in what they do, evolving, raising both the level of quality and efficiency in delivery. You get to a point where you understand what you’re doing, you understand the picture as a whole and you know some things simply, because the experience is written in the subconscious. As you gain more experience, you develop what I like to call maturity in business, about which time you will make the difference between them. Until then, be open to the opinions of mentors, from the outside, things look different.
A story from 4ever1friend.com