How to Develop a Growth Mindset in Tech

I should have posted this ages ago when I went to the Growth Mindset workshop, but I was on holidays so I had to postpone it a bit. Growth mindset is how you approach failures and challenges in your life. I am going to focus on how to have this mindset in your workplace.

 

 

Have you ever found yourself in your comfort zone ?

 

If you are in your comfort zone you will be for some time until something happens.

Most of people love to be in the comfort zone, it is a safe place right ? But it is not in this zone that you have the chance to improve and be the best version of yourself. I started in the QA area as a manual tester as most of the QAs start and if I didn’t challenge myself I would still be there, doing the same job, unhappy but safe.

When you don’t push yourself to get out of this zone, you will need to wait until you are forced to get out. In these moments you will find yourself defeated because something happened out of your control. Sometimes if you have been in this place for many years you won’t even know where to start. I saw people working +10 years in the same company and when there was a cut they couldn’t find a job after more than 2 years and why is that ? I get that you are comfortable where you are, you have a good salary, quality of life, but and if you are outdated with the current market ? Do you think is really a good idea be completely dependent of a job ? Not sure if it is a good idea, for this reason I prefer not to wait for these moments and create myself new challenges.

 

How do you react a feedback ?

 

Embrace the challenges and be persistent, maybe will take more time than what you expected, but when you reach your objective you will feel fulfilled. There are some feedbacks that depending from who is coming you can ignore, because they are not there to add anything, these are called destructive feedbacks.

These feedbacks could be given by managers who don’t really know your work, they are not working with you daily or they don’t communicate with the team. This makes really hard for a person to give a realistic feedback, so in this case you can completely ignore because clearly this person has no clue of what you do.

They will give you a superficial feedback like you need to communicate more or have lunch with the team more often. Remember that social gathering is optional and you should do only if you feel comfortable enough. Don’t push yourself to go to places with people that you don’t trust or don’t add anything just for networking. It is better spending your time creating a quality network in another place instead.

This problem usually happens when the manager doesn’t know how to build bridges across the team, otherwise socializing in the workplace wouldn’t be a problem in the first place. During these 10 years of experience, I’ve had only 2 good managers which who I still have contact and they became my friends outside work.

The constructive feedbacks should be embraced, they come from these kind of managers. They really care about your development and your growth. They do regular catch ups (doesn’t need to be formal or even announced) with the team and they know how to build a trustworthy relationship.

Keep your mind open for these feedbacks, don’t take it personal and don’t be upset about it. I know we have a constant fight with our ego, but these feedbacks are the steps for your own development. Be thankful for having managers like this that can see yourself under the superficial impression and can give you a good feedback. My suggestion is to keep these kind of people always around, surround yourself with good professionals and be inspired by them.

 

Vision and values: Does the company has the same values as you ? Do you agree with the vision of the company ? Does the company has a vision ? Do you feel included in the company’s vision ?

Money: Do you know your value in the market ? If you don’t, are you doing some interviews to figure out ? Do you have goals where you need to sacrifice your work/life balance for an amount of time ? Is your company valuing you enough increasing your salary ?

Experience: Look for companies that look for generalist developers this means that the company will always follow the new technologies and you won’t be outdated.

Managers & Exec team: Do you trust in your manager ? Do they have your back and fight for the team ? Does he care about your happiness in the work ? Does he take your opinions into account or just ignore them ?

Peers & team: Are you respected in your team ? Do you trust in your team ? Do you have a good sense of collaboration across everybody ?

Work/Life & respect: Do you have a flexible work that understand your needs ? What is the police to work from home ? Do you need to feel the stress of commuting ?

Growth and empowerment: Can you learn from the people that you work with ? Are you growing ? Are you stuck doing the same thing over and over ?

 

How emotionally intelligent are you ?

 

 

Constant Learning

 

To summarize basically what was being written here, push yourself and accept the challenges. You won’t be successful on all of them, but be resilient and continue improving. Take advantage of learning with the previous mistakes. Sometimes you will need to change your strategy or even your goal, but what matters is the quality of the journey !

 

Thanks Joanna Chwastowska for sharing this workshop !