Why a Growth Mindset is the Key to Success

Being able to harness a growth mindset can have implications on your career development. Mindset is everything, and as organizations become more agile and fast-moving, a growth mindset becomes a much higher priority and therefore crucial to your career success. Individuals who have a growth mindset believe their talents can be developed and tend to achieve more than those with a fixed mindset, who are more likely to believe that talents are innate gifts rather than something that can be improved upon through hard work.

A growth mindset is also exactly the opposite of a fixed mindset in that it is quite literally not fixed. Creating a growth mindset is a process – a gradual and conscious process of changing the way you think over time and regularly reflecting on where you utilize your growth mindset vs. your fixed mindset in various areas of your life. A growth mindset is more of a journey than an end-goal and requires critical thinking and a belief in continuous learning.

How does this impact your career?

If you have a fixed mindset, you believe that you’re dealt a specific hand in life including your talents, abilities and intelligence. This belief of an invisible ceiling will likely stunt your career progression at some point.

If you have a growth mindset, you believe in cultivating skills, knowledge and talents through hard work, strategy and feedback. You place less limitations on yourself and your abilities and believe in failing forward and learning.

Through reflection you can start to identify where in your life you utilize your fixed mindset, and where you utilize a growth mindset. Some questions to ask yourself:

Where have you seen challenges as learning experiences?

Do you take advantage of opportunities to develop your skills, knowledge and abilities?

Steps to Foster a Growth Mindset

Fail Forward

Embrace failure and acknowledge that failing does not mean that you are unintelligent or inadequate. When you make an error or a mistake, you haven’t failed, you’ve learned.

Seek Feedback

Feedback is vital to your growth and development, and individuals with a growth mindset accept and embrace feedback for self-improvement.

Prioritize Learning

The process of learning is the key, not necessarily the end result.

Turn Challenges into Opportunities

Having a growth mindset means challenges are just opportunities for learning and improvement.

If you want to read more about the research behind the correlation between mindset and success, I highly recommend Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. It’s based on decades of research by the author and world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck and will completely change the way you think.

“No matter what your current ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.” – Carol Dweck

How to Get Poached From Your Current Job

Searching for a new job can be time consuming. Navigating through online application portals, creating new cover letters, logins and profiles each time you apply to a role at a different company. But what if you could potentially bypass this process and have opportunities come to you?

Passive recruiting or sourcing is a proactive approach recruiters use to identify and engage with qualified candidates rather than relying on applications. Sourcing is usually geared towards mid to senior level roles and industries or functions where there is a shortage of talent, but can also be geared towards high volume roles the recruiter might need to build a pipeline of candidates for.

So what can YOU do to get noticed? Thoughtfully building a complete LinkedIn profile can make a big difference in whether your profile even gets shown to recruiters based on their searches. Here are some tips to optimize your profile and make yourself easily searchable on LinkedIn.

Keep your Profile Up to Date and Complete

You want your LinkedIn profile to create a compelling picture of your experience and qualifications; it shows that you’ve put time and effort into your online presence. A bare or incomplete profile tells me that you’re not active on LinkedIn and thus more unlikely to respond to my InMail. At minimum, I recommend using a professional or high-quality photo for your profile picture and detailing your experience, education, certifications and accomplishments.

Your headline, summary and profile background are great places to customize and inject personality. Your summary in particular is a great space to optimize. When most users visit your Profile on LinkedIn they’ll only see the first few lines of your summary, but in LinkedIn Recruiter the entire summary is made visible to the Recruiter by default and can set you apart.

Lastly, including how to get in touch with you on your profile indicates that you’re open to hearing from Recruiters and thus more likely to be contacted. It’s as simple as including “Connect with me here or email me at myname@email.com!”

Make Your Profile Search-Friendly

Keywords

Having relevant keywords in your profile on LinkedIn can greatly magnify your visibility to Recruiters on LinkedIn (the same goes for your resume when you apply to postings!). A great way to identify keywords to include in your profile are to review job postings of roles you’re interested in pursuing and pull keywords from there.

For example, if I was searching for a candidate in Data Science I might use more technical keywords for required knowledge like “SQL” or “Python”. If I was searching for a Process Manager I might search for “Lean”, “Agile”, or “Six Sigma”. Based on your role and industry, identify the keywords that would be the most beneficial to your profile and incorporate them.

Industry

The industry you choose for your Profile also impacts your visibility to Recruiters on LinkedIn. An easy example is a Marketing Manager who works for a Retailer. The Marketing Manager could identify their industry as “Marketing and Advertising” but they could also identify it as “Retail”. My recommendation is that you choose your actual industry (in the above example, Retail). Recruiters frequently filter by specific industries to identify candidates who have even more tailored experience to the job they’re trying to fill.

Job Titles

This section applies to those whose job titles may not reflect their role. For example, if your job title reads more junior than your role actually is, make sure you include a description of your role in the experience section.

I have also seen some very uncommon job titles that likely wouldn’t turn up in a search (shout out to the Apple Geniuses and Happiness Managers). If this is you – keywords will be your best friend. Utilize keywords throughout your profile to make sure you’re found for relevant roles.

Skills

LinkedIn gives you 50 slots for you to call out your skills – use them! And think about all of the different ways someone might search for those skills. For example, if you’re looking for a Sales Director role you could include “sales”, “sales strategy” and “sales management”.

Include a Current Position

Even if you’re not working, include a current position. Many recruiters will search using the ‘Current Job Title’ field, so if you don’t have a current title with relevant keywords, you won’t show up. There are a number of routes you can take here including using titles like: “Finance Manager seeking New Opportunity” or “Experienced Marketing Professional”.

Engage

Recruiters have the ability to filter through candidates by who has engaged with their company and who are more likely to respond based on a number of factors. If the recruiter has a large pool of candidates and needs to cut it down further, they’re likely to use these filters to do so.

Ways to Engage

-Follow company pages that you’re interested in

-Engage with company posts through likes and comments

-Apply to roles you’re interested in through LinkedIn – you’ll show up as a past applicant to the recruiter at the respective company

-If you are actively searching for a new role, turn on “Open to Job Opportunities” on your LinkedIn Profile. Fill in the types of roles you’re looking for and select Only Recruiters so that it’s visible to Recruiters but not to your network.

Be Responsive

You don’t necessarily have to be active on LinkedIn, but you do need to be responsive. Having an updated profile won’t do you any good if you’re not checking your messages frequently and you miss the opportunity altogether. If you know you’re not the type to be on LinkedIn frequently, make sure you’re set up to receive message notifications via email.

Side note: if the above has already happened and you missed your chance for an opportunity but you’re still very interested in the company, let the recruiter know. They may be able to pipeline you and keep you in mind for future roles that arise (there’s a reason they reached out to you).

In summary, LinkedIn is a great tool for recruiters, but it’s also a space that job seekers can optimize in order to reap the benefits. Put some time and effort into building a complete and compelling LinkedIn profile and you can greatly increase the chance of opportunities coming your way.

How My Measures of Success and Happiness at Work Have Shifted

Over the last few months I’ve reflected on my career to date and what makes me so happy doing what I’m doing. I started thinking about me 10 years ago and realized how dramatically my measures of success and happiness at work had shifted. 10 years ago, I was working on my bachelor’s degree, counting down to the day when I could join the workforce and climb my way up the corporate ladder to what would make me happy – a great title and lots of money (you know, the usual business grad mindset). Obviously, my definition of success was very rigid but also limited.

7 years later and I’ve found I have new measures of success and happiness at work that boil down to three simple questions:

Am I learning?

This is a biggie. I’ve been very privileged in my role to take part in projects that interest me, including projects that span way beyond the scope of my normal role and challenge me.

Am I inspired?

Since I started working (including my jobs in high school and university!) I have had the good fortune to work with some exceptional leaders and massively talented people, all of which inspire me to do more and set higher goals than I initially set for myself.

Do I feel valuable?

Does my work feel like I’m making a difference? Does it give me a sense of purpose? Do I feel like my contributions are recognized and valued by my team?

It’s a great thing to dream and set goals, monetary or non-monetary. Striving for the next step is important. But it’s also important to critically think about your roles to really define what makes you jump out of bed in the morning – this exercise may even change some of your goals!