Why a growth mindset can help you land that job

Everyone is talking about mental wellbeing, mindfulness and the importance of a positive attitude. It’s definitely not going to harm your efforts if you approach your job search with positivity.

An even better and more sustainable approach to finding a job is having a growth mindset. A growth mindset is more than having a positive outlook or attitude.

So, what is a growth mindset and how can a growth mindset help you land that job?

How a growth mindset can help you land that job

Looking for a new job can be a challenging time particularly if it wasn’t your choice to start looking. For most people the process of looking for a new job is a means to an end.

A lot of people don’t actually enjoy the process of job searching and can find it frustrating, time consuming and full of disappointments.

It’s particularly challenging to remain enthusiastic, upbeat and positive when you keep applying for jobs and hear nothing back or receive one rejection after another.

So, that’s why it’s so important to be mindful of your mindset!

What is a growth mindset?

a growth mindset

Firstly, let’s define what growth mindset means.  A growth mindset (in its simplest terms) is the underpinning beliefs we hold and therefore influence the actions we take to move forward or improve.

If you believe you can do better, then you will take the necessary time and actions to be better.  You will seek out the necessary training and learn new skills if you want to improve or get better at something.

If you have a growth mindset, you’ll probably view problems and barriers to your success, as challenges and opportunities.

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Identifying growth mindset language

When you are going through the recruitment process, do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset?  Do you see rejection as a failing or do you consider it to be a valuable learning experience?

Do you focus on the results or do you enjoy the process?  If you are focusing only on the goal (getting offered a job) you may find the journey difficult and experience the above less than helpful emotions (frustration and disappointment).

Subsequently, if you focus on the process of getting a job (rather than on the outcome only), then you are more likely to enjoy the journey.

So, what is there to enjoy about going through the recruitment process?

  • Increase and expand your knowledge and networks: Lots of opportunities to meet different people in different organisations and possibly in different sectors and therefore, gain current market intelligence and insights into those businesses and sectors.
  • Interview experience: Gain valuable interviewing experience which will give you an opportunity to understand what to expect (questions and formats) and self-evaluate your performance which will help you prepare better for the next interview.
  • Clarify and confirm career aspirations: Gives you an opportunity to reflect and evaluate your career aspirations and keep you on track.

It really will make a big difference to your job search if you have a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset.

Fixed mindset versus open mindset

There’s lots of literature about the fixed mindset verses the growth mindset. Let’s be clear here, it’s not about being one or the other. According to Carol Dweck’s research, no one has a ‘pure’ growth mindset all of the time.

Most people have a mixture of fixed and growth mindsets given a particular situation, time or event. However, once you understand the characteristics you can evolve the growth mindset over time.

“For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.

How does this happen? How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life?” Carol Dweck, Ph.D.


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The power of beliefs

The power of belief states that whatever you believe and feel to be true long enough will become your reality. It means that whatever you subconsciously feel to be true in your inner world (thoughts and mindset) long enough, will always show up in your outer world (experience).

So, if you go into an interview with a fixed (predetermined opinion) then this will affect your behaviour and possible the outcome.


It’s worth spending some time on understanding your current belief system. Identify the beliefs that support your career success and development and the beliefs that no longer serve you well. It’s possible you’ve had the same beliefs for many years.

Most beliefs are created during our childhood from experiences, events, environment and vision for the future. These will have a big impact on the decisions you make or don’t make concerning your career or job choices. You may even talk yourself out of applying for a job because of your limiting beliefs.

So, consider whether you approach your next job search with a fixed mindset or growth mindset. Maybe the question should be “Would you like to enjoy the process and journey of looking for a new job?”

If the answer is yes, then a growth mindset may just be the approach you need to adopt.