The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Career Changers - The Importance of Career Mastermind Groups  

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By Gillian Watson, Associate Elect & Legends Report Writer

We all need to take personal responsibility when it comes to understanding and applying principles to our lives and careers, but it doesn't mean you have to do it alone! In this sixth part of the Guide To Your Dream Career, we focus on the role our community plays in our success.

When you wake up in the morning are you excited to get your day started? Do you feel that your working hours are bringing your vision and goals to life? If not and you say you want change, are you actively doing anything to bring that to life?

Over the last 5 parts in our series we have been learning about key areas to focus on when taking personal responsibility for your life and the role your career and job play in it. If you answered NO to any of these questions, there is only one more to ask yourself - what should I be doing differently?

Personal Improvements Are Only A Piece Of The Puzzle

As we’ve discussed, many improvements in our lives need to come from personal focus, commitment and follow through, from our daily habits, like taking care of our physical and mental health, to our long term commitments of growing and developing our minds. A lot of self-help advice ends there with the weight of responsibility firmly on your own shoulders and we wonder why that ‘fool-proof’ 3 step, 12 step or infinite step programme or positive thinking alone hasn’t worked for us! Or if it has felt like it worked, it’s been on a small, one dimensional scale that felt flat and anticlimactic with short-lived rewards, often costing us our humanity and relationships greater than the prize was worth.

"It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed."

Charles Darwin 

To Improve Holistically, We Need To Work Collectively

Personal improvement and continuous learning is a commitment to living a full and  impactful, principle-based life but it cannot be done in isolation.

When you have felt ready to leave a position - how often is it because you have refused to learn, grow and improve?  Compared to leaving because management or company culture is not allowing you to thrive? For most people, it’s the latter. That being part of a like-minded community, having a network of support and guidance and being able to relate to others is as important as being individually effective.

"Synergy is what happens when one plus one equals ten or a hundred or even a thousand! It's the profound result when two or more respectful human beings determine to go beyond their preconceived ideas to meet a great challenge."    

Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey spoke about Synergy, calling it creative cooperation where two heads are better than one. It really is about teamwork, open-mindedness, and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems. Valuing differences is what really drives synergy and the capability of inventing new approaches is increased exponentially because of differences.

Can you relate to feeling like that was missing when you were unhappy anywhere in your career journey? That your manager only wanted you to agree for ‘unity’ and peace instead of what was best? Spending time metaphorically hitting your head against a brick wall every time someone responded to a problem with ‘but that’s how we’ve always done it?!’

Synergy lets us discover jointly things we are much less likely to discover by ourselves. It is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

You Become Who You Surround Yourself With 

When you are taking responsibility for your own thoughts, habits and actions, have you ever stopped to think about who you surround yourself with? To take care of your external influences as much as your internal ones?

"According to research by social psychologist Dr. David McClelland of Harvard, [the people you habitually associate with] determine as much as 95 percent of your success or failure in life."      

Darren Hardy, Author of ‘The Compound Effect’

Thinking back to the first part in our series when we discussed being proactive in your life, this includes continuously improving and striving for a better environment in which you operate - to pay attention to your circle of influence and those who can help you mastermind your success.  When people begin to interact together genuinely, and they’re open to each other’s influence, they begin to gain new insights.

Whether we are a part of a large company, are freelancers or work in the family business, we can all benefit from the right type of connection. Whether that is by:

  • finding groups of people who can mastermind change with you,
  • receiving guidance by following a leader’s examples,
  • reaching out to ask for more specific coaching or signing up for a mentorship programme.

There are many ways to develop those relationships and build your network. It could also be as important for your own growth to pay that forward as you learn, by helping someone else with these same lessons.

When looking to take that next step in your career, having that strong network around you, can have a significant impact on your opportunities and potential. The benefits and the overall impact of networking have received a lot of study in recent years. The results of these reports vary, but all agree that it's definitely a popular way to get a job. Some experts say that 70% of people ended up in their current position thanks to networking. Others say it's more like 80% or even 85%.

With numbers like that, it’s impossible to ignore the importance of building the right community around your personal goals. What are you doing to spark that kind of influence in your life?

"If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together."  - African Proverb

How To Apply This


Which best describes how you feel about building connections?

I’ve read a lot online and gone to seminars, but I just can’t seem to put anything into action once I get homeI don’t have any people in my network that I would feel comfortable approaching for guidanceI’ve tried coaching before and all I got were pep talks and checklists that I didn’t connect toYou want to join a group of like minded people, but your company doesn’t encourage that and there are so many groups online, which one do I choose?I haven't actively tried to meet people who could improve the company I keep, but really want to!


What do you think you battle with the most when it comes to making changes in your career?


Setting achievable goalsPlanning my ideal career pathUnderstanding what's important to meFinding balance between work and homeFollowing through on promises I make myselfReaching out for helpI don’t have any people in my network that I would feel comfortable approaching for guidanceI’ve tried coaching before and all I got were pep talks and checklists that I didn’t connect toYou want to join a group of like minded people, but your company doesn’t encourage that and there are so many groups online, which one do I choose?I haven't actively tried to meet people who could improve the company I keep, but really want to!



Would you like to discover more about overcoming some of these obstacles and being part of a career mastermind group with like-hearted people?
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