As the climate of rapid change and the nature of our work continues to evolve, our professional goals and expectations are becoming more dynamic and less predictable. Learning new technology and systems is often part of these changes. Although there are many factors over which we have little to no control, we can gain both confidence and competence by taking ownership of our professional development, whether it be related to technology or anything else new and unfamiliar. Choosing to adopt and strengthen a growth mindset is a key factor in understanding and adapting to new technology and can help you expand your existing personal capabilities.
The Growth Mindset
If you happen to be a caregiver for school-age children or have experience in education, you’re likely familiar with the emphasis on a growth mindset for students. The reality is that encouraging a growth, or continuous learning, mindset is just as important for adults. To develop a continuous learning mindset, it’s important to first recognize its characteristics:
- Skills and intelligence are grown and developed
- Concern is focused on learning and growing
- Effort is necessary to learning
- Mistakes are learning opportunities
- Challenges are obstacles to be overcome
The Benefits of a Growth Mindset
Research has shown that adopting and utilizing a growth mindset at work leads to higher levels of satisfaction and engagement. When you invest in your own learning, growth and development, you typically become more involved in your work and demonstrate a greater interest in and capacity for innovation and collaboration. This can lead to being viewed favorably by supervisors and leaders and can increase your likelihood of new and expanded career opportunities and advancement.
Those who embrace lifelong learning and bring a growth mindset to their careers are more likely to take on new challenges and are typically better able to cope with disruption and adapt to change — key skills in today’s workplace. These attributes will serve you well, enhancing your career development both now and throughout your learning journey.
Develop a Growth Mindset at Work
Understanding the components of a mindset dedicated to continuous learning is one thing but taking action and applying this knowledge to your job is critical. This requires steps including:
- Recognizing and monitoring your own mindset
- Sharing your mindset
- Providing feedback for others’ growth
- Striving for continuous team improvement
Ways to Take Action
One common obstacle to developing a growth mindset and embracing both new technologies and continuous professional development is the feeling of not knowing how — or where — to start. Below are ideas and resources to further your understanding of the growth mindset along with ways you can help ensure your success.
- Just anticipating that you’ll enjoy the learning is important. Bring a positive and open mind to any new project and treat everything as a potential learning and development opportunity.
- Find the right resources for your learning process. Whether you learn best on the job, through instructor-led classes, or via self-directed learning, discovering and utilizing the resources that work best for you is key.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Overwhelmed by options or feeling discouraged? Reaching out to trusted members of your team and your supervisor can provide support and new insights into ways you can increase your knowledge and continue your professional development.
- Share your learning with others. When you share what you’ve learned, it hones your skills in a greater way. This can happen in many different forms, from writing a how-to guide for your team to simply sharing new knowledge in a department meeting.
Live, Virtual Courses
Becoming a Continuous Learner (13-minute course)
Developing a Growth Mindset (24-minute course)