The more I know, the more I realize how little I know. Pat yourself on the back if you concur with this statement for it means you wear a learner’s hat. It also reaffirms that you hold the ability to soak in new ideas, are open to experimentation, and in a much larger sense, have the attitude to embrace risk or be persistent and on course with an action plan when confronted with failure. Having a learning mindset for career development will certainly hold us in good stead. But, more importantly, it’s the will and the ability to sustain this mindset for a lifetime that triggers lifelong success and growth – both personal and professional.
We know of how some minds shine within a particular environment, while others excel no matter what the circumstances. While both groups are competent and talented, it is more than likely that the latter is better primed for growth, being predisposed as they are to a lifelong learning mindset. There is no prerequisite to cultivating such a mindset. It can be developed at any age, and simply calls for an ability to be open to the act of unlearning, if necessary, and not having a fear of the unknown. While the benefits of developing a growth mindset are many, the importance of lifelong learning is often undervalued.
If you check a ‘yes’ for the behaviors below, count yourself as being in learning mode.
That you have reached this far in reading this blog itself indicates that you have a propensity to learn. Enthusiasm is a precursor to sincere learning. The most obvious indicator of enthusiasm is being able to give an activity that very limited resource called time. So, you investing your time in learning a new language or engaging in any kind of creative pursuit or building competencies or upskilling for career growth reflects your inherent enthusiasm to learn. Your motivation to learn does not necessarily stem from monetary compensation or recognition (both strong incentives in themselves), but the idea of learning is in itself rewarding enough for you. Enthusiasm is an organic prerequisite to commit to a path of learning.
Being able to roll with the punches
The self-awareness to accept that perfection is a lifelong quest and that setbacks are part of the process is a huge part of cultivating a learning mindset. The best way to respond to a setback is to get up, self-correct, learn, and grow. Rolling with the punches helps one absorb shock and not resist when things don’t go our way. A plan not working out in our favor means being open to executing a new plan that will deliver for us.
Diving into oneself
A learning mindset leads to an unbiased deep delving of one’s strengths and weaknesses. It is important that we hold the mirror up to ourselves to be able to see what we need to fix. Being able to do this means being open to learning.
Committing to practice and constant upskilling
Having learning goals encourages us to build skills and competencies to be in a constant state of growth. Practice and skill-building have proven to be more useful in determining success than just relying on talent alone. You are born with a set number of talents, but there is no limit to acquiring skills! We need to have faith not just in our capabilities, but also in our learning abilities. So, focus on your learning and upskilling for career growth by lending an ear to your inner voice.
Having a learning mindset encourages you to seek feedback, both positive and negative, with an open mind. Being open to criticism also means being willing to take action. Be kind enough to yourself to know there is room for error, and therefore room to grow. However, be tough enough on yourself to create a deadline by which you can present the best version of you.
Looking for opportunities
A learning mindset puts one in a frame of mind to see the larger picture. ‘What can I learn from this?’ is a good question to ask every time we are up against a challenge. Seeking to learn also means finding a worthy takeaway from every experience, and there really can’t be a downside to this.
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Happy learning and keep looking ahead!
TCS Talent Acquisition