3 Powerful Growth Mindset Shifts for Mid and Senior-Level Professionals

Growth mindsetIf you’re feeling discontent with your current company or profession, you may have started considering a career change. When preparing to navigate such a journey, it’s normal to focus all of your energy on the practical aspects, such as researching other industries, browsing job boards, and writing resumes. While these are all critical for success, it’s important not to neglect another fundamental piece: your mindset.

Finding the right career fit can sometimes be a long and difficult road, so it’s essential to approach things with the right attitude by cultivating a “growth mindset.” If you’re a mid-career or senior-level professional considering an alternative path, keep reading to learn how a few simple mindset shifts can make a huge difference.

What is a Growth Mindset, and Why Does it Matter for Your Career?

Carol Dweck, renowned Stanford professor and psychologist, first introduced the “growth mindset” concept in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. In it, she carefully explains why individuals with a growth mindset are generally far more likely to triumph over challenges and achieve goals than those with a fixed mindset. Below is a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset in a nutshell:

Fixed Mindset

Individuals with a fixed mindset believe their personality, talents, and intelligence are fixed and unchangeable. As a result, they often avoid challenges because of a fear of failure or give up easily because they see temporary setbacks as devastating failures. Additionally, constructive feedback can often damage their self-esteem, so they tend to avoid it.

Growth Mindset

Individuals with a growth mindset believe they can master new skills, upgrade their intelligence, and even positively alter aspects of their personalities with enough hard work and dedication. This attitude makes them far more willing to embrace challenges (along with the possible failures) and seek constructive criticism to improve.

As a mid or senior-level professional, you can enrich your career change with a growth mindset. With rapid technology and other changes constantly reshaping the job landscape, it’s vital to believe in your ability to master any challenge that comes your way.

3 Growth Mindset Shifts to Make for a Successful Career Change

By now, hopefully, you can see how your thinking will directly impact how much you’ll achieve as you reinvent your career. If you’re wondering how to develop a growth mindset, start with these mental shifts:

Ditch the “Sunk Cost” Fallacy

Have you ever sat through an awful movie to avoid wasting the money spent on the tickets or followed through with a pointless project because you’d already spent time on it? These are both simple examples of the sunk cost fallacy, which is our human tendency to persist with things that no longer add value to us due to time, money, or some other resource already invested.

We often do the same thing with our careers, sticking with jobs that no longer make us happy because of how much effort we’ve already put in. But finding the right career fit means getting out of your comfort zone.

Choose a career growth mindset today by deciding not to settle.

Embrace the Power of “Not Yet”

Carol Dweck encourages individuals to alter their self-talk as a simple way to nurture a growth mindset. Your career development journey is likely to be much more successful as you start saying things to yourself like:

“I didn’t ace that interview, but I’ll do better next time.”
“I don’t yet understand how this technology works, but I’ll get better with practice.”
“Changing careers is tough, but I can do it with small adjustments.”

Ask for Help

As mentioned earlier, individuals with a fixed mindset tend to see asking for help as a weakness. However, asking for help and connecting with the right people will fast-track your career change success, especially given that 50% to upwards of 80% of positions are filled through networking. So ask for help and seek feedback throughout the process.

On to the Practical Side: Smash Your Career Change With the Right Strategy

A career success and growth mindset is one piece of the puzzle. Once you’ve gotten your mindset to work for instead of against you, you’ll be in a much better place to leverage the practical tools needed for your career change success. Let’s talk about three ways to do that:

Create a Well-Defined Job Search Strategy

A successful career change starts with a well-defined strategy. Without one, you won’t know what you’re looking for. You’re also far more likely to burn out and give up after spreading yourself too thin. The goal is to be as targeted with your job search and career shifts as possible, which consists of multiple dimensions:

  • Understanding yourself, your skill sets, qualifications, goals and what you’re looking for in a career
  • Narrowing down your focus and researching a few specific industries (which includes understanding hiring trends within those industries)
  • Finetuning your focus even further by targeting particular organizations, companies, and sometimes even individuals

If you need career transition coaching, visit here.

Arm Yourself With Solid Marketing Materials

These, of course, include your resume, cover letter, and an online presence (i.e. a fully-optimized LinkedIn profile). When crafting these marketing materials, it’s essential to keep your goals, experience and career stage in mind. For instance, your resume must properly reflect your advanced expertise now that you’re further along in your career. Check out this post to learn how to tailor your resume for your career stage.

If you still need help creating a resume that charms both recruiters and applicant tracking systems, visit here.

Take the Guess Work Out of Interview Prep

The third practical piece I recommend is learning to speak confidently and articulate your thoughts clearly when networking and attending interviews. This is particularly important if you’ve been in the same role for several years, meaning you likely haven’t had an interview in a while. And, if you’re changing industries, understanding how to use buzz words and keyphrases meaningfully can go a long way, too.

For help with interview coaching, visit here.

With the right mindset and job search tools, a career change doesn’t have to feel daunting. The ball is in your court!

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