Continuous Learning and Growth Mindset
Welcome to the course!
I’m Patricia Haddock, an entrepreneur, author, educator, and consultant. I teach and write about professional skills development to help people realize and achieve their potential. I’m the author of three other Highbrow courses How to Improve Your Self-confidence, How to Communicate Like a Pro, and How to Improve Your Mood.
Over the next ten days, you will discover different skills that employers value and look for in their employees. You will learn why each is important and gain resources for developing, strengthening, and showcasing them without sounding like you are bragging. Let’s start with a new understanding of a career.
Your Career: Ladder or Lattice?
A ladder career means that you pick an area of business that you like—your ladder—and settle down for your entire career. Your expertise and experience are specialized in a specific area or discipline. A lattice career is one where you move throughout an organization in a variety of areas to gain new skills, and sometimes, you move from one company to another. Your expertise and experience are varied and generalized.
Whether your career path is a ladder or a lattice, there are certain skills called “core competencies” that you need to cultivate and demonstrate. These skills are non-technical ones that the majority of employers look for and value in employees.
We’ll start the course by having you assess your strengths and abilities with respect to the core competencies. This will help you prioritize where to invest your time and efforts for improvement.
Assessment: Core Competencies
Please take a few minutes to download and complete the Assessment: Core Competencies.
Value of Continuous Learning
Now that you have identified your strengths and areas that need improvement, you have taken your first step on the path to career advancement. Continuous learning and career-long improvement are important for many reasons. It helps you:
• Stay relevant and current with developments and best practices.
• Increase your value as an employee.
• Can open the door to more opportunities.
• Take charge of your career, so you can readily move in any direction you desire.
• Improve your self-confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem.
• Enhance your overall work and life satisfaction.
Continuous learning is vital for your career. It requires a firm intention to constantly improve and grow, which is reinforced by having a growth mindset.
Mindset Matters for Your Career
How far you can go and what you can achieve is directly related to your mindset.
Stanford University Professor Dr. Carol Dweck has identified two types of mindsets: fixed and growth. Most people are a mixture; however, the predominant mindset determines how much personal and professional success and satisfaction you can achieve.
Fixed mindset: People with a fixed mindset believe that their potential is limited, that they are unable to learn new things, and that failure is fatal. They take criticism personally and resent others who seem more successful than they.
Growth mindset: Those with a growth mindset believe that they are capable of learning anything as long as they apply themselves. Highly resilient and flexible, they view mistakes as ways of improving, seek out challenges, and enjoy learning new things.
Neither mindset is right, nor wrong. However, cultivating a growth mindset can lead to more options and choices for your career.
“In the fixed mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail—or if you’re not the best—it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome.” —Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
Action Steps to Cultivate and Showcase a Growth Mindset
• Show a willingness and eagerness to adapt to changes and encourage others to be flexible and receptive when change happens.
• Thank others for their feedback, evaluate what they tell you, and use it to improve.
• Go over your Assessment and think about how you became adept in your strongest skill:
○ Do you demonstrate this skill on the job so that people know you have it?
○ If not, look for opportunities to tackle a project or assignment that lets you showcase it.
A growth mindset is a foundation for long-term career growth and success since it helps you identify and prepare for opportunities that you might otherwise miss. Tomorrow we will look at another foundational skill: Communication. Your entire career is influenced directly by your ability to speak and write professionally.
See you tomorrow.
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