Use A Growth Mindset to Improve Your Career: 7 Tips
Have you ever thought about using the power of mindset to achieve career goals? A successful career isn’t all about having the right hard and soft skills. It is mostly about developing the right state of mind and thinking about our abilities, skills and challenges in a certain way.
The famous psychologist Carol S. Dweck has introduced the concept of a growth mindset. Professionals with this state of mind tend to achieve better results in their careers than people with a fixed mindset. Today, we are going to reveal what does it mean to have a growth mindset and how to practically apply it in the workplace.
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The definition of a growth mindset
According to Carol S. Dweck, a growth mindset assumes that your skills and abilities can be increased through training and effort. You can grow, change and develop the necessary attributes through practice. People with the growth mindset believe that all skills and knowledge can be learned, and they see the failure as the side effect of this learning process.
On the contrary, people with a fixed mindset assume that their personality and intelligence are inherent and static. They are focused rather on proving their worth and showing the results than on the learning process. Therefore, individuals with this type of mindset tend to achieve fewer results in their careers.
Luckily for all individuals aimed at personal development, a growth mindset can be learned. Below, we’ll take a look at the practical steps you need to take to make it your second nature.
How to use the growth mindset for your career?
The philosophy of a growth mindset assumes that you constantly challenge your status quo and seek opportunities to learn and grow. It can be applied to all areas in your life. Here’s how you can use it in the workplace:
1. Accept your failures and learn from them
People with a fixed mindset see their mistakes as a threat to their professional identity. Meanwhile, it’s only through mistakes that we can learn new things in the workplace. So, your first step to adopting a growth mindset is accepting your mistakes, analyzing them and using them to learn new things. As you start seeing the mistakes as an inevitable part of your path to success, you’ll be more receptive to learning lessons and performing better next time. For instance, if you’ve failed an interview, it’s a good idea to refresh the interview preparation tips and learn ways of handling awkward interview questions.
2. Focus on the journey over the end result
Aiming at achieving great results is good, yet no professional growth is possible if you don’t enjoy the process of working and learning. Whether you learn new professional software, a second language or are in the process of contract negotiations, dive deep into the process and enjoy the experience. After all, it’s hard to achieve excellent results in the activity you are not passionate about.
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3. Admit that being imperfect is okay
People with a fixed mindset are always perfectionists who are driven by the idea of doing something 100% correctly. However, focusing on perfection slows down your professional growth since you’re likely to only take the projects you are sure you will succeed at. Therefore, you don’t challenge yourself and don’t grow. Break this circle by admitting that being imperfect is fine. Actually, nobody is perfect – we all make mistakes at work, and it’s fine as long as you learn from these mistakes. If you get comfortable with your own imperfection, you’ll find it psychologically easier to learn from practice.
4. Always seek opportunities to learn
For successful people, learning doesn’t end when they graduate from college. Make the lifelong learning your priority. Become curious about every aspect of your job: hard skills, technologies, productivity, collaborating with others and ways how to find inspiration. If you lack certain skills or competencies, find the way to develop them on your own or by attending corporate training. Read more books – 85% of successful people read self-improvement books regularly. If you see every working day as the opportunity to learn something new, you are bound to become successful.
5. Step out of the comfort zone
You might feel very comfortable performing a range of duties you are good at and not moving forward. However, when you feel too comfortable in your position, your career gets stuck. People with growth mindset constantly challenge themselves and push out of the comfort zone. If you want to grow as a professional, this is exactly what you should do. Ask your boss for more responsibility, take on the challenging project you were afraid of leading or dare to change your job if the current one doesn’t give you room for growth.
6. Ask for feedback
Feedback from your boss and other team members helps you understand where you performed well and what could be improved. Don’t be shy to request feedback if the feedback culture isn’t developed in your organization. Ask your supervisor to give detailed information about your contribution – generic feedback like “Good job” isn’t helpful for your professional growth. Hearing the honest opinion of others about your work can be stressful at the beginning, but try to see it as a tool for your career development.
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7. Celebrate the successful milestones
To stay motivated for further development and growth, make it a rule to acknowledge the successful milestones and celebrate them. The examples of such milestones might be obtaining a professional certification which might lead you to a promotion or passing an international language proficiency test. If you were given a pay raise or closed an important sale, celebrate it with the colleagues. As you achieve more and celebrate the important milestones, you get closer to the big goal and stay full of energy.
If you felt stuck in your role, adopting a growth mindset can open new exciting opportunities you couldn’t even imagine. By concentrating your effort on growth and improvement, you can build a skill set and achieve significant career progression.
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