Mindset & Job Search

Mindset Is an Important Part of Getting a Job

I’ll be the first to admit that many factors are entirely out of our control when it comes to the job search. Instead of discussing things we can’t change, I want to discuss something that is completely within your control – your MINDSET.

Positive vs. Negative Mindset

Your mindset is the lens through which you see the world. When you have a positive mindset, you tend to react to situations positively and are more inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt.

On the flip side, when you have a negative mindset, your perception of reality is skewed in the opposite direction, and your reactions to situations and interactions with people will be adverse.

Carol S. Dweck, the author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, writes, “My research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.”

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset

In an interview with Harvard Business Review, Dweck said, “A fixed mindset is when people believe their basic qualities, their intelligence, their talents, their abilities, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount, and that’s that.”

You can see how this mindset will significantly limit your job search efforts. If you have a fixed mindset, likely, you won’t apply for jobs that would allow a lot of room for growth, and you won’t apply to jobs that you perceive are out of your current ability level.

Dweck continues, “[People with a growth mindset] believe that even basic talents and abilities can be developed over time and through experience, mentorship, and so on. And these are people who go for it. They’re not always worried with how smart they are, how they’ll look, what a mistake will mean. They challenge themselves and grow.”

What kind of person do you want to be? One who will grow stagnant and obsolete, or one who is continually learning and growing? What kind of person do you think employers are looking for?

Victimhood vs. Extreme Ownership

This last category of mindset is my favorite one to discuss. There is nothing that gets under my skin quicker than someone with a victim mentality. We cannot control other people’s actions. We can only control our reaction.

When someone has a victim mentality, they are continually blaming their problems or shortcomings on someone or something else. To me, the root problem seems to be ego. Victim mentality stems from the belief that “I can do no wrong; therefore, I must place the blame elsewhere.”

Jocko Willink, retired Navy SEAL, Silver Star, and Bronze Star recipient, and author of Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, says, “Ego clouds and disrupts everything. The leader is truly and ultimately responsible for everything. Good leaders don’t make excuses. Instead, they figure out a way to get it done.”

His book is all about how good leaders take complete responsibility, i.e., extreme ownership, over any mistakes, whether made by the leader, or someone on their team. He recognizes that good leaders lead by example, and never leave their teammate out to dry. They never pass the buck on blame or responsibility.

While not everyone reading this is in a leadership position, we can learn a lot from Jocko (and I HIGHLY recommend his book to everyone) when it comes to searching for a job. When a job prospect doesn’t turn out exactly as we hoped, it is far more effective to reflect on any mistakes we may have made, and how we can improve for the next opportunity than to skip over self-reflection and make repeated mistakes.

Mindset is Everything

I encourage you to take active steps to change your mindset if you realize yours is not exactly what you want it to be. The books I mention in this article are great places to start.

In her book, Breathe Life Into Your Resume, Dr. Jeannine Bennett, CEO of Vision to Purpose tells us, “To have a good attitude, you must focus not on your circumstances, but rather on the new opportunities that will be open to you. Look at everything you have to offer. You are a talented individual with great skills, and those skills are transferable.” She adds, “If you do not have the right mindset the job hunt will feel like an uphill battle.” “Carrying a negative or pessimistic outlook not only impacts how you view things it also carries over into the tone of your resume and other career documents.” Perhaps that is the reason you are not getting any calls.

Just imagine all the ways a positive, growth mindset with extreme ownership tendencies will impact your life moving forward, and alternately, remember where a negative, fixed, victimhood mindset will get you (nowhere good).

About the Author

Melanie Lemus is the Communications Specialist for Vision to Purpose providing self-help, business, and career-focused topics.

About Vision to Purpose

Vision to Purpose is an organization dedicated to helping individuals and businesses succeed through the offering of tailored career, life, and business solutions.

Need a resume writer? How about a career coach? Perhaps a business consultant? Look no further, Dr. Bennett and the Vision to Purpose team can help! You can learn more about Vision to Purpose by visiting www.visiontopurpose.com.

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