Seeking Success After “Failures” on the Job for Those Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Two men, one older and one younger, work together at a desk.

If you feel like you’ve blown it at work or you fear you aren’t cut out for work, I’m talking to you. You made a sizable mistake on the job; you received unsatisfactory performance feedback; you don’t think you have what it takes to learn assistive technology, therefore you work slowly and it is noticed; or you were recently let go.

I know it hurts. It’s embarrassing. It’s intimidating. It’s stressful. Let’s face those emotions; name them, but don’t get stuck there.

Chin up; look forward and pave the way for success after disappointment or misstep. And just how is this done? Glad you asked.

  • Seek constructive criticism. Do it. Ask one or two specific, “How can I do such-and-such better?” questions to a few carefully selected, honest and knowledgeable individuals. You don’t know what you don’t know. You can’t correct poor performance or conduct that you don’t recognize as lacking.
  • Seek a career mentor who is also blind or visually impaired and a local career mentor who may or may not be visually impaired. Find out what they attribute to their success.
  • Press the mental pause button at home (not easy for most of us) and reflect on the uncomfortable situation, the constructive criticism, and the mentor advice. Identify and take responsibility for the problem(s) you’re facing and formulate a solution.
  • Separate your solution(s) into easily defined action steps. Give them end dates and seek accountability.

I don’t know your specific misstep or problem, but if it is a recurring issue caused from neglecting to learn blindness-specific accommodations or assistive technology, it is time to break the cycle. Seek out Orientation and Mobility training, rehabilitation counseling, assistive technology training, courses in braille, etc. from your local service providers for people who are blind or visually impaired. Take initiative.

Finally, work towards excelling and progressing on the job by using APH CareerConnect’s newest free, self-paced course: Maintaining and Advancing in Employment.