Developing a Continuous Learning Mindset

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.

TIPS

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Recommended Resources

Live, Virtual Courses

MSU IT Training Courses

Process Mapping Series

Ready, Set, Change!

Identify and Maximize Your Strengths

elevateU Learning

Becoming a Continuous Learner (13-minute course)

Developing a Growth Mindset (24-minute course)

Microsoft Office 365 Learning Resources

MSU Summer Events, Activities and Courses Round-Up

Enjoy your summer with these campus activities, events, and courses to do with your family and friends!

Outdoor Activities

  • Get outside and hike the beautiful trails at the Kellogg Biological Station Bird Sanctuary Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. Additionally, check out their calendar of virtual and in-person events, which now include daily bird and butterfly activities and walks throughout the property.
  • The W. J. Beal Botanical Garden on campus is an outdoor laboratory for the study and appreciation of plants. If you follow the W. J. Beal Botanical Garden Facebook page, you can see that along with the flowers and sprawling grounds, there is now a temporary art installation to check out! The garden is open for you to walk around and enjoy the plants and pond in a beautiful setting. Be sure to continue to follow current and posted COVID-19 guidelines.

Performance and Art

  • The Wharton Center is preparing for a full reopening in the fall, but if you are missing the theater, check out all of the great opportunities to learn and grow through Wharton at Home. You can also join instructors for a livestream class every Wharton Wednesday at 10:30 A.M. here.
  • The Broad Art Museum has multiple exhibits on display throughout the summer, including the “Interstates of Mind” ending on August 8 and “Where We Dwell” beginning on August 7. The Broad Art Lab on Grand River Avenue is also open once again for $16 per session. If you are looking for at home activities, the Broad Museum Online has virtual exhibits and art classes open to the public.

Learning

  • The Abrams Planetarium at MSU is now open for shows on Saturday and Sunday nights. You can register online here for either Big Astronomy or We Are Stars. Patrons can also book private showings for up to 20 people or check out Night Sky Chats, streaming on Facebook Live every Wednesday Night.
  • MSU HR is always updating the OPD Resources online, so this summer you can take a course on anything from Communication to Professional Development from the comfort of your own home. Check out the full list of course offerings here.

Health

  • MSU Health4U has multiple summer programs running every month for free, just register online and choose the program, or programs, right for you.
  • SPARTANfit Health and Wellness Program is offering a comprehensive virtual fitness assessment for MSU employees and their spouses! Get a three month plan from your assessment and start reaching your summer health and fitness goals.

Explore these great campus activities this summer but remember to continue to stay safe by wearing a mask if you are not fully vaccinated, wash your hands often, and maintain physical distance.

Happy National Online Learning Day!

September 15 is National Online Learning Day! Online learning provides convenience, flexibility, and personalization for all learners. Did you know MSU offers FREE online learning opportunities for all faculty and staff? Get access to online resources including books, videos, courses, and more via elevateU. 

Access elevateU here or log into EBS and look for the “elevateU” tile under the “My Career & Training” tab. You can access elevateU from your computer or through the Skillsoft Learning App for Android and iOS devices.  

There are programs that cover leadership, IT & desktop, business, finance, human resources, change management, project management, interpersonal skills and so much more. Resources are available in a variety of formats: 

  • Video-based and interactive courses 
  • Videos 
  • Books 
  • Resources to prepare for various professional certifications 

Watch the following video for a general overview of the resources available to you and how to access them:

Need help navigating elevateU? Click here for an additional video on how to use the search function and navigate through the resources available. 

Utilize the resources as reference tools to help answer your day-to-day job questions or as part of your ongoing personal and professional development. Many of the courses are even approved for Continuing Education credits! Remember, all courses are available to current staff and faculty at no charge.  

Happy National Online Learning Day! 

Job of the Week – Hub Project Manager

This week’s job of the week is a Hub Project Manager (#602040) for The Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology. This position is seeking an individual with strong problem-solving and communication skills, who possesses a broad understanding and experience planning and managing a portfolio of product and/or service design projects.

The responsibilities for this role include providing project management strategy and guidance for The Hub, managing changes to projects’ scope, schedule, and costs using appropriate verification techniques, assisting in the development of project objectives and project plans, and working with Hub management on resource planning, availability and allocation to project objectives. Other responsibilities include conducting research and data analysis, preparing reports, and performing project close assessments to identify opportunities for growth, to maximize operational effectiveness, amend processes and procedures, and assess work performance.

The ideal candidate would possess knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in design, business administration, research, education or field related to the employing unit; three to five years of related and progressively more expansive work experience in product and design project management, business analysis, facilitating/training with a focus on business management; experience working with multiple high-level stakeholders, work flow process analysis and implementation of strategic initiatives, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

For more details on the responsibilities of this position, and to view all our current postings, visit careers.msu.edu. Internal applicants should access postings through the Careers @ MSU tile in the EBS Portal.