Career Growth Mindset

What a growth mindset can do for you. 

What is a Growth Mindset?

There are two mindsets we can have about our strengths and abilities, a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

People with a Fixed mindset adopt the perspective that skills and abilities are limited and see change as an all or nothing belief system: ‘I’m either good at it or I’m not’, ‘I avoid challenges’, or ‘Why should I bother?’

Someone with a growth mindset is more likely to try new things and view change as opportunity - even in times of stress or challenge.  This mindset adopts a what is possible belief system; ‘Challenges help me grow’ ‘I like to try new things’, and ‘I learn from feedback’. 

The great thing about mindsets is that they are learned and can be changed.  Our brain is a muscle and like any muscle, it can grow with a little work. Toning this muscle can be as simple as a reframe: ‘I can’t do it’ becomes ‘I can’t do it -yet’. 

Fostering a Career Growth Mindset

Covid-19 means the summer of 2020 will be very different.  Due to social distancing norms and the anticipated economic downturn, there will be fewer jobs and volunteer roles available and any academic work will be 100% online. This presents a challenge for growing skills and exploring career possibilities without the ability to add a role and experience to your resume.

The unique opportunity presented by the pandemic is the gift of time: how to fill this time is the question.  By leaning into curiosity you can discover what is possible and with some intentional goal setting and planning you will uncover many ways to grow your employability, level up your professionalism, uncover more of what you want in your career, and be ready to hit the ground when the labour market picks up again. 

The following is a list of ways you can invest in yourself this summer preparing for your future:

Skill Development

Add or strengthen a skill you know you want to grow or know you need for the workplace.  MOOCS, or Massive Open Online Courses are perfect for this.  From the comfort of your home you can learn project management, coding, Excel, a second language, successful negotiation and so much more. Here are but a few MOOCS at your fingertips; LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare, Coursera, Udemy and CreativeLive.

Career Exploration                                                           

Research is a fundamental tool for knowing what you have to offer, what the world needs and how you want to contribute to the spaces that excite you.  There are lots of tools online for this as well (i.e. see MOOCS above), or you can connect with a Career Advisor at the Experiential Learning Hub to support you through this process. 

Professional Online Management

Finally, you can take the time to build your LinkedIn Profile.  Now more than ever an online presence will be a necessary asset to career development and your job search.  LinkedIn is a professional site that allows you to connect with other likeminded industry members for learning, collaboration, and job seeking.


Once you have clearer picture about the career challenges and opportunities that excite you, leverage LinkedIn to find interesting people working those same problems.  Reach out to request an Informational Interview: this is a conversation to learn more about their career story and the employer’s needs.  This will help you learn and affirm the work is what you think it is and expand your LinkedIn network.

Create your own Project

Start a website to showcase your work portfolio for your job search.  Start a community non-profit, consider what’s important to you and how you could do some good in the world.  Now is a perfect time to ramp up your leadership skills and take control of some job search preparation.

Harness your growth mindset to help you aspire to your career possibilities and invest through preparation while you wait for opportunity to present itself.

Nicola Edwards, Career Advisor