Recommended: Attend this Workshop

Principle 6 is that meaningful work pushes us to grow. Combine a growth mindset with seeking our opportunities for growth in an environment that encourages you to do just that. In return, your work will be more meaningful.

Next week’s workshop will go on sale at 9am pacific on Wednesday, July 15th. It wll be $49 and it will be limited to 25 attendees.

Barrett Brooks

(If you have a company whose founder or hiring team you’d like me to interview about their hiring process to include in the product, just hit reply and I’ll see what I can do.)

Carol Dweck first published her landmark psychology book, Mindset, in 2006. In it, she makes a research backed-argument for the mindset required to reach our full potential.

In it, she identifies two fundamental mindsets:

  1. Fixed mindset
  2. Growth mindset

With a fixed mindset, we believe that our abilities are inherent, even genetic, and therefore we have a fixed amount of potential. 

With a fixed mindset, anything out of our comfort zone feels dangerous. If we fail, then our fixed abilities will be revealed to everyone around. By contrast, if we stick to what we know, we’ll stay safe, confident, and competent.

With a growth mindset, we can learn new skills, build new abilities, and gain new knowledge. By applying effort, any challenge becomes an opportunity for growth.

With a growth mindset, new opportunities outside of our comfort zone are exciting opportunities to learn and grow. Think of all the impact we can make by tackling new opportunities!

There’s actually a sweet spot that leads to growth:

In your comfort zone, you know exactly what to expect. It’s safe, it’s routine. It’s where you are when you’re doing that thing for the 10,000th time. It’s where you go for comfort and an easy state of flow.In your danger zone, you have no idea what to expect. You’re on high alert, unable to focus on anything but making it through the next moment. You’re so far away from what’s normal that it’s difficult to perform well.And then there’s your growth zone. It’s that in between space where you’re neither comfortable nor in danger. You can still function, but you’re not remotely comfortable.The thing about pushing outside of your comfort zone…

Outside of that place of comfortable flow… Is that it doesn’t happen on its own. You have to push for it. You have to seek it out. You have to want it.If you do, the reward is a growing set of diverse experiences. You expand what is comfortable to you and build on your skillset. The process is proof that you’re capable of learning and adapting. It gives you satisfaction of knowing that you’re becoming a better, more interesting person.In the context of work, you have to know how you want to grow.

Do you want new:Knowledge Skills Relationships Influence Or something else entirely?​ And then you have to have an environment that allows you to seek that growth out. Different organizations and teams have different kinds of growth orientations. Some have a formal environment centered on career ladders and stretch assignments. Other organizations have a more informal environoment centered on initiative, grit, and personal ambition. And some organizations have a stifling environment that makes it hard to grow at all.

You can seek out growth in many ways, but three of the most common are:Asking for or being promoted into a new role that expands on your responsibilitiesVolunteering, being assigned, or simply taking initiative to start a new project Keeping your same role and projects, but keeping a mindset of growth as you look for ways to grow in your existing tasks and responsibilities​The alternative to growth, of course, is stagnating in a role and stagnation is where careers go to die.

You know you’re getting stale when you no longer feel self-motivated at work, you notice a lack of engagement in the goal setting process, and you start to fall into a routine — a rut even — of doing the same things over and over again.We’re most likely to stagnate when we’re comfortable — enough money, title, and flexibility to stay put. And not enough reason to move on to the next thing.

And when you hit that point, you have to move on or slowly watch your career die.

PS: Next week’s workshop will go on sale at 9am pacific on Wednesday, July 15th. It wll be $49 and it will be limited to 25 attendees. This will allow me to keep things manageable while also having a chance to answer individual questions during the Q&A afterwards. 

So far, I have bonus interviews lined up with the founders and hiring managers from New Story CharityPrimerFrontierWebflow, and A Kids Book About. The insight you gain from this workshop and interview series will give you the inside track to landing the most meaningful job of your career.

I hope you’ll join me for it!