According to career coach Swati Khede, the top five reasons people fail at their jobs include the lack of career goals, poor job fit, inability to change, poor self-image, and focusing only on technical skills. In addition to these reasons, the more significant factor that affects the ability of a professional to succeed is their lack of awareness of career blind spots.
What Are Career Blind Spots?
Career blind spots are anything that keeps you from attaining better job opportunities or making progress in any professional endeavour. These blind spots often manifest as a person’s behaviour, action, unlearned skill, or untapped potential.
What Are the Assumptions You Need to Challenge in Your Career?
Challenging assumptions is a way of critical thinking that reverse engineers an accepted fact or process and analyses which part establishes assumptions that limit your options. This approach forces people to be open-minded and drive innovation on previously known norms. For example, if innovators did not challenge the necessity of wired Internet connection, WiFi would not have been a concept today.
Challenging assumptions also apply to career development. Those unable or unwilling to challenge assumptions are more likely to miss out on promotions, get stuck in the same position and blame their lack of career advancement on reasons like “wrong timing” or workplace favouritism.
10 Biggest Career Blind Spots to Look Out for
- Refusing to ask for help. Regardless of the reason, whether thinking you have everything covered or do not want to bother others, not asking for help is a highly toxic work behaviour. Instead, learn to rely on others and simultaneously grow with them.
- Being avoidant to conflict. Work conflict is inevitable, and it is unwise always to avoid it. The goal is not to start a fight purposely, but when conflict occurs, the ideal thing to do is manage it. Besides, workplace conflicts can be beneficial because these instances could improve interpersonal relationships, establish mutual trust, and develop rapport.
- Failing to take accountability for failures. Professionals should welcome mistakes because humans are born imperfect. Instead of shifting blame, people should aspire to learn how to take ownership of said mistakes and find ways to do a better job next time.
- Only aiming to be “good enough.” This is an unhealthy workplace mindset because it inspires laziness and incompetency. Professionals should constantly seek to improve because work standards keep evolving. Doing better than expected keeps you relevant.
- Not considering innovative ideas. Refusing creative ideas is a red flag for professionals because change is constant in the workplace. Embracing change is the only way to evolve with trends and survive the harsh demands of the market.
- Expecting others to work the same pace as you. Despite being in the same team or role, never expect employees to work at the same pace. What professionals should aim for is to make compromises that consider everybody’s strengths and weaknesses. A more inclusive approach would encourage stakeholders to do better because they will feel supported and cared for.
- Becoming absolutely neutral. There are moments when professionals should be decisive, especially when resolving work ethics issues. In these situations, remaining neutral would signify poor decision-making skills, a vital capacity for professionals, especially those taking on more advanced roles.
- Not adopting a growth mindset. The growth mindset promotes that everything is learnable through consistent effort, regardless of your current incompetency. Unfortunately, many professionals get stuck wallowing in frustration and depression after experiencing failures. This reaction prevents them from learning from their mistakes and initiating plans to improve.
- Only keeping track of failures, not successes. For many people, failures are often more memorable than successes because of the pain that they inflict. However, professionals should also acknowledge personal wins because it validates their efforts and sacrifices. Not everything you planned and worked hard for will turn out well in the end, but it does not mean you are not good enough.
- Waiting for others to make the first step. Many professionals do not recognise the growth possibilities before them because personal doubts and insecurities blind them. Despite not being in a leadership position, one should always be ready to take the initiative. Doing so will push them out of their comfort zone, but it is an effective way to grow and learn new things.
Joseph is a writer at Skill Success. After college, he decided to take law, however, after four years of uncertainty, he decided that lawyering was not his destiny. Joseph then decided to pursue content writing as a full-time career. He aims to keep on growing in the following years to become an even more competitive professional in this craft.