The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Career Changers - What Does Your Ideal Career Look Like? 

Young woman thinking with pen in mouth.

Image by kaboompics @ Pixabay

By Gillian Watson, Associate Elect & Legends Report Writer

In this second part of the Guide To Your Dream Career, we explore the importance of Beginning With The End In Mind - how you can start developing your career by design.

In the first part of the series, we asked you to dream - to think about what your perfect career would be. If you could wave a magic wand and put yourself in any career you wanted, what would it be?

How did you find it? Was it a bit unclear and daunting, did you feel the excitement and joy that comes from thinking about your perfect career or perhaps it was somewhere in between?

“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”

― Erin Hanson, Poet

This isn’t something that should only ever be done once, nor should it be thought about in isolation. So don’t stop dreaming! It can change and evolve as you develop your career plan. Being creative with your vision is a second habit to be proactive in your career and your life!

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”      - Gloria Steinem, American feminist, journalist, and social-political activist

Do You Really Just Want More Money? Or Something More?

How many people search for a new job with just a job title and salary package in mind?

Is this the right approach?

Working on the vision you want for your future and discovering what is important to you, will provide a much clearer goal to work towards in terms of your future career. Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs challenged us to pursue our passion relentlessly even if we have yet to find what it is.

He said,

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.”

Read more about what he shared here: Career Advice from Steve Jobs

Habit 2 - Begin With The End in Mind

So where to from there? This is a step that many people fail to do and why their dreams only ever stay in their imagination. We want to help you move your dream into a plan, so you can live by design and purpose. In sports, this would be referred to as visualisation and is often thought to be the practice that sets many champions apart. And yet, this effective habit is not practised enough in our daily lives.

Before jumping ahead with any decisions, particularly ones that will result in large changes in your life, the second habit of highly effective career-changers, is to 'Begin With The End In Mind’. That means literally to begin today with a vision of how you want your career to be in the future. To do this we need to imagine what our desired future is and we can start by bringing that dream of your ideal career to mind now.

Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired outcome, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen.

Once you have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish, daily decisions will start to shift from "what do I have to get done today" to "what is going to get me closer to where I want to be."  From a never-ending to-do list, to a life lived with purpose and direction.

"People are working harder than ever, but because they lack clarity and vision, they aren't getting very far. They, in essence, are pushing a rope with all of their might."
- Stephen Covey (author, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

Dr. Covey also says that all things are created twice. First the mental creation, or vision, takes place before the 2nd physical creation, or action. He points out that if we don't take responsibility for creating our own lives, we leave it up to other people and circumstances to dictate what happens to us. So doing this creative work now, means less risk of bad choices in the future and all this can be done before you even commit to seeking out a new job, career or change.

How have you helped your future self today?

Click here to learn more about a career-gap assessment

How to Start Designing Your Ideal Career


    Identifying what brings you joy and what causes you discomfort is an important step in creating your ideal design of career. Let us know:


    What do you feel is most important in your career?


    Meaningful workMaking a differenceBeing a part of an effective teamSalary or packageBeing a leaderThe right job titleFinding work/home balanceOther…


    What do you fear most about pursuing a change in your career?


    FailureDisappointing othersNot living up to expectationsSimilar issues, different locationOther…



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