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Stupid Career Mistakes: Not Asking for Help With Your Blind Spots

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Our brilliant ideas can land like lead and sabotage us because we don’t see what we can’t see.


Today, I want to talk with you about a dumb mistake the way too many people make professionally and, I have to say, personally, as well. The mistake is lack of awareness that you have blind spots and doing nothing about them.

In the workplace, he can show up in the obvious where you have an idea that you think is brilliant and you don't seek any input about it. As a result (and this is 1 of my favorite phrases), you don't know what you don't know and things blow up on you. I had a brilliant example (and I know I'm guilty of this), I know I had a time years ago where I thought I had a great idea for selling consulting services and how to market it to firms in a way that I thought would be a "can't miss" opportunity . . . Except a lot of firms thought that they could miss out on this opportunity.

What I didn't realize what was wrong with the idea. What I could've done differently (this is what I would suggest for you) is seeking input. Talk to people who are more knowledgeable than you and get some advice from them about this brilliant idea of yours. After all, when you think about it, so many problems can be headed off, if only time were taken to seek input to evaluated that you don't say that others pick up on immediately.

That was my mistake. I didn't seek input from others and, as a result,, "my brilliant idea." Later that like lead in the marketplace of ideas or it could have been flat out wrong and that could have been the reason. I didn't understand that and, as a result, the impact was this "brilliant idea" failed.

From the standpoint of what you can do, always ask for advice. Always ask for input. You can say to someone, "I have this idea in this is why think it would work and why it would be effective. I'd like your advice. What do you see will be wrong with this? How can it fail? What could not go right with this idea that would cause it to land like lead and just sink to the bottom?"

You don't know what you don't know and you can see what you are unable to see. Getting extra eyes on the problem can go a long way toward intercepting. Again, that's a point about coaching that makes it so helpful to people. A coach winds up being able to see things that other people can't but you can do this with your wife, husband or partner, a colleague at work, anyone who you think is knowledgeable who can help you see things that you can't.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching or interview coaching from me?  Email me at and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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