Do you feel lucky? Do you expect to see opportunity around every corner? If you do, then you are more likely to recognize and seize the opportunities around you. I have a friend who bemoans the fact that she can drive all over town looking for a parking space and find none, while her sister seems to find them within minutes of starting her search. What’s the difference? Confirmation bias. My friend never expects to find a space – so she is more likely to miss the opportunity – while her sister assumes she will find one and quickly spies the open spot. When we have an assumption, we tend to see the data that confirms our expectation, causing us to act in a way that turns it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s confirmation bias. It applies to career opportunities, just as it does to parking spaces, so make confirmation bias work for you. Adopt a positive mindset and expect opportunities to come your way.
Do you assume positive intent in others, or do you surmise that they are acting only in their own self interest? Do you expect people to help and support you, or do you suspect that they are out to harm you? Are you confident that your chance will come, or do you assume you’ll be passed by? It’s important to be realistic, but at the same time, adopting a positive mindset can shift important dynamics in your favor. What would you do to further your career if you adopted a positive mindset? Would you have a conversation with your manager to discuss your latest idea, or talk about your career aspirations? Would you volunteer for a project or ask for more responsibility? Try shifting your mindset to shift your experience.