These career blind spots could be holding you back at work: ‘Gain control,’ says author

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Today’s employees have many issues to grapple with: downsizing and layoffs; burnout; AI-implications for business; an unpredictable global economy; and other factors. 

Amid these issues, American workers are faced with career blind spots that can catch them by surprise. 

K. Scott Griffith, author of the new book “The Leader’s Guide to Managing Risk: A Proven Method to Build Resilience and Reliability” (HarperCollins Leadership; Nov 7, 2023), believes that employees can uncover the hidden pattern to why bad things happen in their lives — and apply the science of preventing negative outcomes to their careers.

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“The secret lies in seeing, understanding and managing risk,” Griffith, based in Dallas, Texas, told FOX Business. 

“There is a better way to gain control over your career in an increasingly unpredictable world,” he also said. 

Read on for insights.

What exactly are career blind spots?

Career blind spots are the harm we didn’t see coming in our work lives — but upon reflection, might seem obvious, said Griffith. 

“As in many areas of our lives, blind spots are everywhere, often hiding in plain sight,” he also said.

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He listed the following three possibilities.

1. Failing to see the impacts of new technologies. The sudden emergence of sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) models could be a blind spot for workers, Griffith indicated.

“AI, for example, offers the potential to improve and disrupt all our lives, bringing an explosion of new business opportunities, while at the same time posing significant risk of harm to our careers if we’re unable to adapt.”

“Sometimes, we don’t see risk because we’re focused on other matters.”

2. Experiencing a merger, layoff or bankruptcy due to circumstances beyond our control. “Sometimes, we don’t see risk because we’re focused on other matters, working ‘heads down’ or balancing our family and personal lives and not recognizing a changing environment in the workplace,” said Griffith.

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3. Being blinded by our own success. We could be getting that promotion, but resting on our laurels and not learning new and adaptable skills aren’t helpful in the long run, he suggested.

Business persons walking and working around the office building

Griffith detailed the findings of Canadian researcher Laurence J. Peter in 1969, who developed the concept of the “Peter principle,” suggesting that people rise to the level of their incompetence. 

“In other words, being good at one job may not guarantee we’ll be good at the next. Sometimes we box ourselves into a corner by not learning the skills required for success at the next level,” Griffith told FOX Business. 

Focusing on shortcomings is important

All workers have weaknesses, Griffith acknowledged.

“The reward comes when we can turn them into strengths,” he told FOX Business. 

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“Knowing our vulnerabilities allows us to work on them, or in some situations, create compensation mechanisms by relying on systems or other people to balance out our strengths.”

He noted that resilience is an important component of self-growth. 

Create a plan to achieve what you want in your career, said Griffith. 

“Resilience is the ability to recover and bounce back when things go wrong,” Griffith noted.

Future-proof your career to be ready for new challenges

Create a plan to achieve what you want in your career, said Griffith. Taking steps toward your goals can have a real impact on achieving these goals.

He shared the following tips.      

* Write down what you want most from your career — e.g., income, security, job satisfaction, network of professionals, etc. — and then seek opportunities to attain them.

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“Update your list frequently,” he said. “Some goals will change over time.”

* Don’t be afraid to take career risks, but have a backup plan. 

colleagues talking

Stay informed about what’s happening in your industry — and be on the lookout for new opportunities in the event of layoffs or another negative event, he recommended.

* Continuously improve your system, education and experiences that make you qualified. 

“Expand your primary skillet — but learn multiple skillsets, not just one specialty,” Griffith told FOX Business. 

* Embrace collaboration. Build a strong network and seek out professional advice from potential coaches and mentors, he said. 

“But also, coach and mentor yourself — as if you were guiding a younger sibling, son or daughter,” Griffith continued. 

Author K. Scott Griffith

* Make career choices with the best information you have available, but don’t stress about what you can’t control, he said.

* Make mental health a priority. 

“Your professional life will gain the benefits,” Griffith said. “Have fun.”

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