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CEO's Monthly Message (March 2022)

Hello API Job Corps Centers:

We Need to Create a Growth Mindset

On this day, as we honor and appreciate all of you on Employee Appreciation Day, our thoughts also turn to spring and fresh beginnings. We long for spring as well as the chance to put COVID behind us. One way to do that is to look at our mindset. A mindset is a set of assumptions that shape the way we think, feel, and act. Our mindset, or perspective, dominates our view of the world and often the world’s view of us.

Understanding and knowing how to develop a growth mindset can help you handle the challenging times Job Corps is experiencing and ensure you reach the goals you set for yourself and your Center.

According to Carol Dweck, the author of the book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, there are two mindsets people tend to exhibit. The first is a fixed mindset. Individuals with a fixed mindset believe they are limited at birth, and this leads to a desire to look smart and therefore a tendency to avoid challenges, give up easily, see effort as fruitless, ignore useful feedback and feel threatened by the success of others. As a result of this, individuals with a fixed mindset tend to achieve less than their full potential. The second is a growth mindset where individuals believe that intelligence can be developed through hard work. Individuals with a growth mind-set have a desire to learn, embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as a path to mastery, learn from criticism, and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others.

With a growth mindset, success begins with believing that you can. For example: Instead of thinking “ I’m afraid of making a mistake,” try reframing it to “Mistakes are how I learn and get better,” or change your thinking from “I don’t know how,” to “I can learn how!,” and change thoughts like “They are better at it than I am,” to “What can I learn from them?”

There are many reasons why Job Corps staff should present a growth mindset each day. This mindset impacts (for the better) how we see the world, our relationships, and our creativity. The blog, Mind by Design, identified 17 benefits of a growth mindset. The top four benefits of a growth mindset for Job Corps staff include the following:

Develops a positive perspective on life and work:

A growth mindset can help you appreciate all aspects of life. It helps you view challenges, not as barriers, but as opportunities and stepping stones to get you where you are heading. It provides you the stamina to continue and the strength to press on when things get tough. As a Job Corps staff member, you help build a positive normative culture on center when you exhibit a growth mindset. You model how to live your best life for your fellow staff members and our students.

Provides a constant boost of energy:

Positivity, in and of itself, can provide an energy boost. Positive energy, which is very much a part of a growth mindset, can shape our lives like nothing else. Positivity helps you enjoy your day to day experiences, and impacts your health and relationships. A growth mindset can reduce your stress, improve your physical health, and drive you toward your accomplishments. Job Corps staff work with young people who often come from difficult circumstances. If you can model a growth mindset and instruct your students on how to achieve a growth mindset, you provide them, and their future employers, a lifelong gift.

Helps you solve problems:

In addition to working through challenges, a growth mindset gives you the ability to think differently when it comes to solving problems. You become the person people come to for advice and students trust to help them through a tough time. People with a fixed mindset tend to see problems as unsolvable, but people with a growth mindset feel a problem is just one end of the stick, with the solution on the other end.

Pushes you to stay motivated and active:

COVID-19 fatigue does not just happen to those who have the virus. We ALL have COVID-19 fatigue and are tired of this “new normal” with its restrictions and constantly changing rules. A growth mindset can help you find the motivation you need to overcome this fatigue, enjoy your life, and continue to grow no matter the environment. When you develop a growth mindset, you try new things and live through new experiences. Life becomes more fun and you become more adaptive and resilient.

Ask yourself if you need an alternative perspective and a growth mindset. If you can change your mindset to a growth mindset, you can change your work and your life!

Dr. Wild

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