Your money mindset is just a fancy way of saying how your brain thinks about money in different situations. We all have beliefs and behaviours around money. Stories we tell ourselves. Stories we’ve heard from other people. Things we picked up from our parents, or teachers, or media messages. The only question is whether the stories you have about money are helpful to you or get in your way.
In this article, we’re going to look at some of the ways your money mindset might show up in your career. See how many you recognise!
1. When you don’t apply for a job, because you don’t match all of the job description
You might be wondering what this has to do with money. The simple answer is that your job is probably your only or biggest source of money. So if you stop yourself applying for a job, because you don’t feel qualified enough, you’re setting a ceiling on how much money you earn. Without ever testing what’s possible for you.
Well I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Most of the people writing the job descriptions don’t expect you to match every single part.If you’ve ever been a hiring manager and written a job description, you’ll know that you’re often putting together the ideal wishlist for the role. All of the things that it would be great if the person could do. Rather than a list of experience or expertise that they need to have.
In my 20 year career, I don’t think I’ve ever hired someone who ticked all of the requirements on the job description. I knew which skills were key and the rest were just a bonus.
So next time you read a job ad and you only match about 60% – 70% of the requirements, don’t dismiss it. Work out what you think are the key skills – and judge yourself against only those ones. The rest is just a nice to have and something you can learn on the job.
2. When you don’t ask for a pay rise or a promotion
I get it, you may not feel that a pandemic is the ideal time to be thinking about a pay rise or a promotion. And you’d be right to be more attuned and sensitive to the situation. If you’re reading this article, you can trust yourself – you are sensitive and sympathetic to what’s going on. But there are industries and companies that are doing well, that are growing. If you’re working for one of those companies, and you’re doing a great job, then it is perfectly legitimate for you to think about asking for a raise, or a promotion.
Equally, if you’re working for a company where it’s been a rough six months. And as a result you’ve had to step up and work much longer hours, with a ton more responsibility and stress. Then it’s also legit for you to think about asking for a raise (or a deferred bonus if company cash is tight), or a promotion.
3. When you stay in a job you hate instead of switching to a career you’ll love
Just to be clear, if you’re sticking in a job because it’s safe and secure right now, then that is absolutely the right thing to do. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about situations where you have a genuine opportunity to switch careers (you know they’re hiring for these roles, you see jobs advertised, maybe it’s a growing industry), but you talk yourself out of making the leap.
As someone who has switched careers more than once, I understand the ‘better the devil you know’ feeling. Sticking with a job, even a job you hate, can be strangely comforting. All the things you dislike about it are also familiar. You’ve got used to them. You’re so far in your comfort zone that you have space to hate it!
Whereas making the switch is going to open you up to a whole new world of uncertainty. So you talk yourself out of it. You tell yourself it’s not the right time. Or you just have this one project you want to finish before you move. You put blocks in your path.
4. When you’re planning on returning to work after a break
Coming back to work after a break – parental leave, caring responsibilities, whatever it may be –
Honestly, I don’t think it makes any difference how experienced you are, or how brilliant at your job. The simple fact of taking more than a couple of months away from work is enough to make us feel like a complete no-mark amateur.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, it brings up exactly the same feelings as going back to school after the summer holidays. When you panicked about your new haircut, or whether your friends would still be your friends, and whether you had the right pencil case or shoes. Being out of the game makes us feel vulnerable. If we don’t take the time to manage our mindset, it can make us question our ability and affect our confidence.
Mindset matters because your thoughts create your actions
Of course you’re going to have lots of thoughts and feelings around any of the above situations. Each of them is a big deal. It’s completely normal to feel a mixture of excitement, apprehension, uncertainty and probably a load of other emotions.
What matters though is that you can identify where negative thoughts are getting in your way. If most of your thoughts around asking for a pay rise go something like this:
“I’m not ready, I haven’t proved myself enough yet”, or “It’s probably not the right time to ask”, or “There’s no way they’re going to say yes, so there’s no point in me asking”, or “I don’t even know how to ask.”
Then chances are those thoughts are stopping you taking action to even find out if a pay rise is a possibility. You’ve pulled the plug on yourself before you’ve even tested the water!
If any of this sounds familiar and you’d like to learn how to kick your blocks out of your way, we run a series of Money Mindset Workshops and we’d love to see you there. Focused on improving your thoughts and behaviours with money in your personal life, your career, and in your business if you are an entrepreneur. They’re enlightening, fun and you’ll leave feeling like you can take on the world (or at least ask for that promotion)!