How to identify Blind Spot in your career

03 August 2008 |

According to Oxford Dictionary

Blind Spot is : 1. The point of entry of the optic nerve on the retina, insensitive to light. 2 an area where a person’s view is obstructed.

I was reading an article on Road Safety - "Always Check your Blind Spot" on Ministry of Transport of Ontario Website and wondered whether we can apply the same principles to our career.

Principle 1: When driving, keep your eyes constantly moving, scanning the road ahead and to the side. Check your mirrors every five seconds or so. When using mirrors there is an area on each side of your vehicle where you cannot see. You may not see people or vehicles when they are in these spots.

You are doing the right things every day. You reach your workplace on time, work with your co-workers to get the things done and get good appraisals every year. You review the last year to plan for the new year and make improvements for the future. One day you get the news that one of your friends who was with you in your university days has got a promotion, then you start to wonder whether you are making the right moves in your career ?

You question

  • Are you moving in the right direction?
  • Did you check the blind spots which could have accelerated your career growth ?!!

Principle 2: Make sure you see other drivers and they can see you by doing the following:

You should know what you are doing and make sure others know that you are contributing to the growth of the company you are working for.

Principle 3: -> keep a clear view when driving. Do not put anything in your windows that will block your view.

Plan your career and outline the objectives you want to achieve in the next three years. Would you like to grow in your career vertically or get new industry experience ? Or are you looking for cross-functional experience or get better financially ? A clear view of your future will enable you to decide the next course of action.

Principle 4: -> the windows should not be coated with any material that keeps you from seeing out in any direction. Neither should the windshield or front door windows be coated to keep someone from seeing inside the vehicle.

Maintain a positive attitude and be proactive in your approach. Volunteer for activities even if it is a community activity in your organization. This approach is infectious. You will easily be recognized in a crowd and be perceived as an all rounder for a job. You will attract the right people who will help you propel your career.

Principle 5: -> check and adjust your mirrors and find your blind spots. Check your blind spots by turning your head to look over your shoulder before changing lanes, passing, turning or before opening your door when parked next to traffic.

You should always

  • seek opportunities to fine tune your oral, written and analytical skills
  • look at the senior people in your organization, how do they address complex issues? Learn from them.
  • develop inter-personal skills
  • be curious about technology that is relevant to your work
  • be professionally up-to-date

The above attributes will make you a sort-after commodity in the career market place, both internally in your organization and externally in the job market.

Principle 6: -> when making a lane change, check your mirrors for a space in traffic where you can enter safely. Check your blind spot by looking over your shoulder in the direction of the lane change. Signal when you want to move left or right. Check again to make sure the way is clear and steer gradually into the new lane, maintaining the same speed or gently increase it.

You should check the skills required for the job role that you are aspiring for in the next level. You should have demonstrated these skills in the day to day work and made a contribution to your organization. Every year you should get a feedback from your co-workers and manager to assess yourself. If you are dealing with customers, then a feedback from them would be vital since it would be impartial. Positive feedback will help steer you to the next level.

As you are moving up in your career, you have to be a mentor and provide a clear direction to people who work with you.

Promotion is not about pulling you up the ladder but pushing you up. It is all about people recognizing for what you are doing and what you truly deserve.


Santosh Puthran

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