The Four Types Of Mindset Needed For Career Success

Mindset shifts make your mind work for you, instead of allowing your mind to control you.

Share this article

Share this article

Mindset shifts make your mind work for you, instead of allowing your mind to control you.


The Four Types Of Mindset Needed For Career Success

Mindset shifts make your mind work for you, instead of allowing your mind to control you.

Share this article

Cristiano Ronaldo, arguably one of the best soccer players in history, was asked what he thinks differentiates him from so many other soccer players in the world? He replied that his biggest strength is his ‘mind’, as talent alone is not enough.

He believes his mindset allows him to make great decisions daily, particularly when things are not going his way. His mindset drives him to work hard and continue to learn and grow. He attributes this mindset to his sustained success at the highest level of soccer.

Your ‘mindset’ is your set of mental inclinations, attitudes or beliefs. It shapes how you see the world and yourself. Everything you do, feel and experience is shaped by your beliefs and attitudes, hence, your mindset, so this is critical to your success or failure.

Your beliefs and attitudes are formed by what you experience, what you are taught by others, and what you teach yourself. You then act, behave and think based on these beliefs and attitudes.

There are four types of mindsets that are critical to sustainable career success, these include, growth mindset, abundance mindset, feedback mindset and inner-validation mindset.

Growth mindset

According to Caroline Dweck, a growth mindset is one where you believe that your talents are not fixed. They can be changed and are constantly being developed.

Your learning does not stop once you leave school, college or any learning institute, you are continuously learning new knowledge and skills, whether at work or elsewhere. You are also not afraid of failing as you recognise that this is also a learning experience.

Why is a growth mindset important? A growth mindset is critical to be relevant and thrive in the rapidly changing world of work. A growth mindset requires learning, unlearning and relearning to evolve and continuously improve.

When it comes to careers, the greatest threat to your success is trying to avoid failure. So many professionals focus on preventing failure and staying where they are in their careers for longer, but avoiding challenges and mistakes in today’s world is like the ostrich burying its head in the sand.

Executives who focus on learning from challenges and failures are better prepared for growth and more significant challenges and will be more successful in their careers.

Abundance mindset

Opportunity knocks on every door in our careers. When the opportunity knocks, it encounters three kinds of people - the first person does not hear the knock and is not ready for the opportunity. The opportunity goes a-begging. The second person hears the opportunity knock, but is not ready. Again, the opportunity goes a-begging. The third kind of person is one who not only hears the knock, but is also ready for the opportunity.

Early on in my career, I developed a mindset of hearing opportunities and being ready. Seeing my career progress, many of my friends and colleagues have often mentioned that I have been ‘lucky’. Maybe I have. But I have also looked ahead, not knowing what exactly my next opportunity will be, but always working on improving myself and watching out for opportunities.

This mindset has always made me feel ready for whatever comes next from a career perspective, opened my mind to many possibilities, and driven me to learn new things as I see them. In today’s challenging and changing work environment, opportunities will come your way, although they might be in disguise. Are you going to be ready?

Feedback mindset

Feedback is a gift. Looking back at my early career, I know I was driven by fear. I feared losing my job because I was not good enough. Over time, however, I learned to embrace feedback. It was a fundamental mindset change. How did that change occur? The change started with my first official performance review, which was not very flattering.

This feedback hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought I would be fired. After sitting on it for a few days, I realized it was really up to me to do something about it (Lesson #1). So, I mustered courage (Lesson #2), returned to my boss, and said, ‘Thank you for the feedback, but what do I do with it’?

I did not know it then, but my conversation created a constructive feedback environment between him and me (Lesson #3). Instead of fighting the feedback, I digested it and demonstrated that I could receive feedback constructively and work on it to improve myself.

A feedback mindset centres not only on how individuals perceive and respond to feedback, but also on creating an environment for receiving feedback.

Inner-validation mindset

Only you can determine your value. At work, we often don’t know our own value. Instead, we give that responsibility to our bosses, peers and the company and wait for a performance review, salary increase, promotion or recognition to tell us our value.

The company demonstrates how it values us through the job, title, compensation and recognition we receive. Our peers show us how they value us by including or excluding us in conversations, meetings and projects. Often, we gauge our value by comparing ourselves to others.

These are the characteristics necessary to develop an inner-validation mindset:

  1. Set a standard in your mind and try to improve every day to get there.
  2. Trust your judgement to make informed decisions based on your knowledge and experience. Seek input from others, but ultimately, rely on your own judgement to guide your actions.
  3. Be willing to step outside your comfort zone and take calculated risks that align with your goals and values.
  4. Trust yourself to handle challenges and setbacks and view them as opportunities for learning and growth.
  5. Build resilience to bounce back from failures and setbacks and be kind to yourself.

These characteristics do not appear automatically or overnight. You need to consciously and consistently practise them to develop an inner-validation mindset at work. The benefits to your career will be self-confidence, authenticity and personal growth.

These four mindsets work together, sometimes overlapping, to fuel your sustainable career success and fulfilment. The trick is to make these mindset shifts happen and make your mind work for you, instead of allowing your mind to control you.

This is an adapted book extract from Careers Unleashed by Asad Husain.

Related Articles
Get news to your inbox
Trending articles on Guides

The Four Types Of Mindset Needed For Career Success

Share this article