Take Back the Wheel

Taking back the wheel, embracing a growth mindset, and the art of decision making.

Victor Saad


Welcome to issue No. 23 of Work Different — a weekly summary of the top articles focused on workplace culture and career development.

On Taking Back the Wheel

Regardless of who you are, we have been extremely strained by the prolonged uncertainty of the pandemic, continuous social isolation and the highly-volatile news cycle. “Most of our brains are navigating the most challenging year of our lives with our cognitive functions resource constrained, securely fastened in the backseat.” Mike Asem offers a few solutions for us to be more intentional about our personal wellbeing: 1. Certainty. Try to add bits of certainty to your life amidst all the uncertainty. Organize your home office, commit to a workout and sleep routine, and say no to requests rather than giving a vague answer. 2. Autonomy. Giving yourself and your team as much space as possible to do their work on their own terms. Let your team know that you appreciate their hard work often. 3. Relatedness. Reserve your time and energy to intentionally spend time with people you value and who value you. Be intentional in how you treat others as well as yourself. RIRTs.

Credit: Andrew Nguyen

On Embracing a Growth Mindset

When it comes to reflecting on mistakes, it’s best to take on a “growth” mindset rather than a “fixed” mindset. With a “fixed” mindset, we see our mistakes as “proof” that we are not good enough. In turn, we double down on our abilities, which makes us less likely to take risks. As a result, we stick to what we know and have less room to grow. On the other hand, with a “growth” mindset, we see our mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow. They teach us what didn’t work and set us up for more success on the next try. If you’re a leader, it’s important to take on a “growth” mindset for yourself as well as for your team. If your team faces a setback, encourage the team to reflect and extract lessons from the event, so you can be more united and informed for the future. LinkedIn.

Credit:  Anna Parini

On the Art of Decision Making

We make hundreds of decisions everyday, from whether to go on a run, to call our parents, or to take or leave a job. Some decisions seem trivial while others seem daunting and life-changing. In this piece, Joshua Rothman writes,  “Your life choices aren’t just about what you want to do; they’re about who you want to be.” Our everyday decisions impact where we direct our attention and energy, which eventually shapes our lives and the people around us. The concept of “Decision theory,” holds that “sound decisions flow from values. Faced with a choice—should we major in economics or in art history?—we first ask ourselves what we value, then seek to maximize that value.” Your decisions ultimately reflect your values. Keep this in mind when you’re choosing which book to read next, who to socialize with, or if you should make a career switch. The New Yorker.

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Victor Saad


I’m an author, educator, and community builder living in Chicago. I started Experience Institute, an organization helping college students and career professionals learn and grow through short-term, real-world experiences.

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