Don't wait for the axe to fall to develop your growth mindset
The Straits Times has an article today about a man who has been looking for a job for the last six months as he is preparing himself to be laid off by the end of this year. After having sent resumes to countless companies since October 2015, he has not had one request for an interview. According to the man, it could well be because he has been in the plastics industry for the past two decades and was now drawing close to $10,000 in monthly salary. He is in his late forties and does not relish selling himself to a prospective employer, pitting himself against a fresh grad.
Read the article here: Still looking for work 6 months after losing job
Does that sound like the fixed mindset written all over it? You bet! In this article I shall share 5 ways the growth mindset can help this man - and all people currently out of a job - getting them to a new job much faster!
1. The growth mindset reframes the way we see difficulty
The growth mindset looks at things differently. Instead of seeing how difficult it is do so something, it looks at how best to make a difficult thing easy. Hence, the first thing the growth mindset looks to do is to readjust the job of "selling myself". We are in fact, selling ourselves every single day. From our Facebook post (we are selling our story), to negotiating with suppliers (we are selling our brand/ trustworthiness), to staying married (we are selling ourselves to our spouse), we we constantly selling ourselves. The only thing we may be uncomfortable with is selling our value to a prospective employer, since we have been brought up never to sing our own praises. But selling is selling, and we have been doing that for the longest time. It is now time to sell our services to our next customer - the prospective employer.
2. The growth mindset looks for opportunitites
Instead of playing a passive waiting game for employers to come, the growth mindset goes out and looks for these opportunities. The fact of the matter is that people find jobs through recommendations more than through resumes. If there is no one to vouch for you, there is very little chance for you to stand out from the rest of the applicants. So, if there is a position that the growth mindset job-seeker is interested in, he will look for avenues to "jump the queue". And if all else fails, then he uses LinkedIn to get a word edge-wise. At least it shows how resourceful he is, and how much he wants the position. This might just earn him an interview.
3. The growth mindset doesn't give up
So your first attempt at getting an interview failed; does that mean that you should stop trying? Of course not! I was listening to an interview once over radio of a man who was trying to land the marketing manager position at a famous restaurant chain, led by an enigmatic boss. After trying several attempts at submitting his resume, he decided to try something different. He designed a menu that looked very much like that restaurant's menu, but instead of dishes, it contained the key attributes of that person and why he was suited for the job. Not only did he get an interview, he received a call from the owner himself, and was hired after the first interview. The growth mindset doesn't give up!
4. The growth mindset employs the hypothesis-driven process
Instead of simply looking for a new job in the same industry, the growth mindset forms a hypothesis related to his skills, and goes out there and markets it. But not for $2,000 to $4,000 a month! For $20,000! Why should it be that a person who has not even hit the prime of his life, (It is said that a person's prime income earning stage is between 50 to 72 years old!) - so instead of selling himself for less than his current worth, he must sell himself for many times more! Once he has made this hypothesis, then he will go out there and look for the job that will pay him such an amount! Is it difficult? You bet! Can it be done? You bet! It is all in the mindset.
5. The growth mindset plans alternatives
Lastly, the growth mindset job seeker doesn't gamble with his life. Putting all your eggs in one basket - for example looking for a job - is extremely dangerous and tentamounts to gambling. Instead, the growth mindset job-seeker will plan - and execute - 3 different scenarios. There is the low risk, low return plan like giving tuition or teaching in the polytechnics. There is the medium risk, medium return plan like continuing the job search by sending resumes via job search portals, and there is the medium-to-high risk, high return plan like starting one's own business. Work each plan simultaneously, not closing the door to any of them, so that there is always an alternative. In this way, when when avenue closes, it is not a catastrophic ending.
The economy is headed into a tailspin soon and EVERYONE should bone up on their growth mindset skills. There are many alternatives to managing a job transition, and one should not be afraid of it. It will happen, but more importantly is, what will you do when it happens to YOU? Don't wait for the axe to fall before you start developing your growth mindet repertoire, do it right now!
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