Do You Have a Fixed Mindset or a Growth Mindset? How to Leverage Each to Boost Your Career

You may have heard about the two types of mindsets, Fixed and Growth, in recent years. According to the research conducted by Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset, the two mindsets can have an impact on career performance.

Both Mindsets Can Be Advantageous 

Individuals with a fixed mindset tend to stick to their comfort zones and avoid conflict or challenges. They are less likely to be open to change or learning new skills. Those with a growth mindset are always looking for the next challenge, analyze and learn from their own mistakes, and are often inspired by the success of others. Neither mindset is inherently good or bad. Both can be advantageous in boosting your career. Once you identify which one you are more like, you can use its qualities to your advantage.

1. Fixed Mindset

If you have more of a fixed mindset, you:

Know your strengths. You are familiar with what you are good at, and you are usually very good at it.

You are reliable. The boss knows who he can count on to buckle down and get something done.

You enjoy and are good at predictable roles and tasks. This is actually a great quality as there are so many roles that make use of this strength. When you find your niche and can replicate results over and over again, you are in your element.

If you have a fixed mindset, be aware of the following.

It can be difficult to embrace developing new skills. Once you are comfortable in a groove, you tend to stick to that groove and shy away from developing new skills. This can work perfectly fine, but it can also make it difficult to progress in your chosen field or career.

2. Growth Mindset

If you lean more towards a growth mindset, you are:

Adaptable and good in work situations in which the outcome or process is uncertain. Supervisors know they can go to you when a new project is in the works, and when the path forward hasn’t been meticulously plotted out.

You are prepared for uncertainties and are able to think of creative ways to solve problems, which makes you a great addition to teams and renders you invaluable when the team finds itself up against an obstacle. You can think outside the box and propel things forward because you do not fear the unknown.

Be aware that if you embrace change too much, though, you might risk not paying enough attention to the current situation or the most logical path forward. You also might not think through all possibilities before implementing change because you are so ready for the next thing. In addition, if you change too quickly and too often, you might not spend time to develop one skill to specialize in.

Final Thoughts

Whether you identify as having a fixed mindset, a growth mindset, or a blend of the two, keep in mind that these are general categorizations and that mindset can be changed. If you know you are one type but are aware of some of the benefits of the opposite mindset, you can approach your work life with an openness to implementing those tools when undertaking tasks, even though they may not be second nature to you. You will find this to be invaluable and crucial in boosting your career.

Do you consider yourself to have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? How have you used it to your advantage? Let us know in the comments!

Written by Mark Whitman

Mark Whitman is the founder of TeamBuilder Search. Mark’s mission is to help clients recruit the top five percent of digital marketing executives, taking great satisfaction in helping clients out-recruit their competition. In the process of fulfilling his mission, he takes great care to help digital marketing leaders elevate their careers. People say Mark owns a recruiting and staffing company. He says he owns a life improvement company. To learn more about Mark visit our Leadership page.
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