Updated: Jun 3
It can be easy to get discouraged and frustrated when you’re a jobseeker during a pandemic. In fact, it’s even easier to do so when you were looking for a job even before the pandemic hit.
To those who lost their jobs during the pandemic, it’s a different story. Having something you worked very hard for all those years being suddenly taken from you can be highly discouraging and frustrating. As the world gradually shifts to the new normal, jobseekers are still at it trying to land that dream job.
In these trying times, it’s vital to maintain a positive job search attitude. If we are about to overcome something as difficult as a pandemic, then there isn’t anything we can’t overcome. This is where the concept of ‘growth mindset’ enters the ring; the terms ‘growth mindset’ and ‘fixed mindset’ were coined by Dr. Carol Dweck, and evolved from her research about individuals’ underlying beliefs about learning and intelligence (Dweck, 2016). Dweck (2016) found that individuals had drastically different attitudes surrounding failure; where a small setback may be easy for one individual to rebound from, could be considered devastating to another. Dr. Dweck established that “individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts)” (“Dr. Dweck’s Research”, n.d.).
So what does this all mean you may be asking? Individuals with a fixed mindset may attribute any setback to their inherent sense of self-worth, which can negatively impact motivation and confidence.
Can you see how this perspective may be valuable in the context of job search? Navigating your job search with a growth mindset can help you maintain motivation and a sense of empowerment in a challenging process - if you believe that you have the power to change outcomes by continuing to develop your skills and competencies, then you are putting yourself in a more resilient position as you navigate your job search.
Cultivating a growth mindset is not an easy task. And, as Dweck (2016) highlighted, no person possesses a ‘pure’ growth mindset - we all have elements of both fixed and growth mindsets and beliefs. In order to start cultivating a growth mindset surrounding your job search or career development, try to notice how you respond to challenges or criticism - are you falling into a growth or a fixed mindset? If you need some support in shifting your perspective, Vocational Quest can help.
As a professional Vocational Counsellor, Dr. Drew believes in maintaining a positive mindset, creating partnerships with a purpose, and always striving for significant outcomes.
To learn more about maintaining a positive job search attitude and other services such as job search and career advice, visit Dr. Drew’s website at www.vocationalquest.com or contact the team through firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-329-5445!
Dr. Dweck’s research into growth mindset changed education forever. (n.d.). Mindset Works. Retrieved May 14, 2021 from https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/.
Dweck, C. (2016). What having a ‘growth mIndset’ actually means. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2016/01/what-having-a-growth-mindset-actually-means.