How your mindset could affect your employability

The global economic downturn has created a more competitive job market, which means that job seekers will typically need to offer more than just their technical skills, qualifications, and work experience in order to secure desired positions or advance their careers. While these requirements are important, job candidates who can also demonstrate positive mindset qualities will often stand out against the competition and appear more attractive to employers.

What are mindset qualities?

Mindset qualities refer to the beliefs, attitudes, and thought patterns that shape how people perceive and approach different aspects of their lives, including their careers. Two prominent mindset qualities are the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.

  • Fixed mindset. People with fixed or negative mindsets tend to believe that their abilities and intelligence are static. They may avoid challenges or fear failure, and often find it difficult to persevere when faced with challenges. This kind of mindset can hinder both personal and professional growth.
  • Growth mindset. On the other hand, those with a growth mindset will embrace challenges and view them as opportunities for learning and development. They believe that their abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and dedication. This kind of mindset fosters resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to learn from mistakes.

The difference between mindset and personality

It’s important to note that mindset is distinct from personality. Personality traits are relatively stable characteristics, while mindset relates to one’s beliefs and attitudes, which can fluctuate over time.

What are the benefits of having a good mindset at work?

A positive mindset can offer numerous advantages, all of which can enhance employability skills. 

  • Enhanced problem-solving. A growth mindset enables a more proactive approach to problem-solving. When faced with challenges or obstacles in the workplace, people with a growth mindset are more likely to explore different solutions, adapt, and persevere until a resolution is found.
  • Improved communication skills. A positive mindset can contribute to better verbal and non-verbal communication. People who believe in their ability to learn and grow are often more open to feedback, which can lead to improved interpersonal relationships with co-workers and supervisors, and better professional conversations.
  • Greater adaptability. A growth mindset enables people to better adapt to new technologies, work processes and industry trends.
  • Soft skills development. A growth mindset fosters the development of important soft skills, including time management, emotional intelligence and teamwork.
  • A more positive attitude. A positive, more understanding mindset contributes to a more positive attitude, which in turn creates more constructive work environments. Optimistic people tend to boost team morale, inspire their colleagues, and generally create a more pleasant atmosphere.

Which mindset qualities are important to employers?

Employers place a lot of value on employees who have a growth mindset or similar qualities because they recognise that people who believe in their potential for growth and development are more likely to bring a proactive, problem-solving approach to their work. 

Some common examples of sought-after mindset qualities include:

  • Willingness to learn. Employers often favour candidates who demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning. These are the people who are eager to learn new skill sets and can more easily adapt to changing work environments. 
  • Resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges, which can be a powerful skill in modern workplaces. 
  • Openness to feedback. Feedback is essential for professional development, and people with a positive or growth mindset are typically more receptive to feedback, seeing it as an opportunity to improve.
  • Teamwork. Teamwork is a fundamental aspect of many job roles, which means employers tend to prefer people who can collaborate, share ideas, and support their colleagues and team members.

How to develop a more positive mindset

Anyone can improve their employability by focusing on developing a growth mindset. In doing so, they can enhance their prospects in the job market and make a more lasting, positive impression on potential employers and hiring managers, both in job application materials, such as CVs and cover letters, and during job interviews. 

It’s worth remembering that a positive mindset is not something that happens overnight – it’s a continuous process. It’s also something that anyone can develop; just because someone currently has a fixed mindset doesn’t mean they can’t develop more positive mindset qualities. 

Develop a more positive mindset by:

  • Building self-awareness. The process begins by assessing your current mindset. Are you more inclined towards a fixed or a growth mindset? This understanding is the first step towards making positive changes.
  • Embracing challenges. Rather than shying away from challenges, they should be viewed as opportunities for growth. Step out of your comfort zone and take on tasks that push your boundaries.
  • Learning from mistakes. Mistakes are a natural part of life and work. Instead of dwelling on them, reflect on what you can learn from your failures and how you can apply those lessons in the future.
  • Seeking feedback. Welcome feedback from colleagues, managers and mentors. Use constructive feedback as a tool for personal and professional growth.
  • Setting goals. Establish clear, achievable goals for professional development, which will give you a sense of direction and purpose.
  • Continuously learning. Commit to lifelong learning. Stay updated with sector trends, build up your skills, and acquire new skills through training and development programmes.
  • Building and maintaining a positive attitude. Practice gratitude and focus on the positive aspects of your life and career. Surround yourself with people who inspire and support your growth while avoiding negative influences that may discourage you from pursuing your goals or encourage you to give up.

Grow your mindset and prepare for leadership

Develop your professional adaptability and employability across industries, functions, and roles with the 100% online MSc Finance, Leadership and Management programme from the University of York. This flexible Masters programme will give you valuable insight into your own professional development while building your problem-solving and communication skills.

Your studies will prepare you to respond rapidly and effectively to changing business and financial environments, and upon graduation you will receive affiliate CMI membership and be awarded a Level 7 certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice.

Modules on this programme cover topics such as:

  • Operations management
  • Business finance 
  • Leading and managing people
  • Marketing and ethics in global business
  • Corporate financial strategy
  • Investment management
  • Asset pricing