One definition of tunnel vision is “narrowness of viewpoint resulting from concentration on a single idea, opinion, etc., to the exclusion of others.” Tunnel vision in relation to career management indicates that you are concentrating too narrowly on something in a way that affects or could affect your career negatively—but what? And how bad could it be for your career success and longevity?
Focus not only offers help in your career progress but could actually accelerate it, when used right. A generic, all-over-the-map approach, on the other hand, might well hinder your career advancement. So focus is a good thing, right?
Yes and no. Focus, in and of itself, is a neutral term. It can be either good or bad, depending on how you apply it to managing your career. When taken to extremes, focus too easily morphs into tunnel vision. At that point, you could risk making serious mistakes or missing desirable opportunities—or both. For example:
As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When it comes to tunnel vision in your career management, this saying definitely holds true. If you can strike a balance between lack of focus on one hand and tunnel vision that might derail your career on the other, you’ve increased your odds of long-term success and satisfaction.
The key, as you might expect, is to adopt the focus necessary to achieve critical goals without overlooking potentially relevant external factors you should take into consideration. Of course, it’s possible you could make a course-correction that gets you back on the right career path, but avoiding derailment in the first place makes a lot more sense and is almost certainly much easier to manage.