The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Career Changers - Do You REALLY Want That Dream Career?

By Gillian Watson, Associate Elect & Legends Report Writer

The Guide To Your Dream Career series is here to help you see that creating change in your life to reach your potential is within your grasp! It's time to take action - we hope you find inspiration and motivation to take that first step and start making the changes in your life to find your ideal career.

People generally spend one-third (or more) of their days at work yet more than 70 percent of workers say they don't feel satisfied with their career choices. And even more disappointing is less than 1% will actually do something to change it!  Do you want to continue to be part of that statistic?

The real question is do you actually want to do something about it? I mean REALLY do something?

We’ve spent the last 6 parts in this career series talking about fundamental principles that could help you see a better future for yourself and where you could implement better behaviours, beliefs and attitudes to achieve that vision.

Repetition Is The Mother of Learning

"It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen."  Muhammad Ali

Do you remember all 6 habits from our previous posts? No? That's ok 😉 Here they are again with ideas on how to put them into action:

  1. Begin by realising YOU and only YOU are responsible for your career, stop blaming anyone and start taking action by being proactive!
  2. Do you have a crystal clear picture for what you want your ideal career to look like? If not, get clear on your vision by beginning with the end in mind
  3. By putting first things first, take control of your work schedule - identify and then prioritise what will help your career progress instead of getting lost in the ‘busy’ cycle.
  4. Actively seek out people in your company, profession and network who are willing to collaborate and create effective relationships that are beneficial to all involved by thinking win-win or no deal.
  5. Whether you are a manager, employee or intern - don’t forget to listen to everyone in the room before making assumptions! Be an expert communicator by seeking first to understand, then being understood. 
  6. Synergise by joining or helping to build career masterminds groups in your department, business or industry. Be the person to help everyone learn how cooperation helps drive creativity and innovation in solution-finding.

Can you imagine including these habits in your week at work? Can you see that applying these will dramatically improve your career? We hope you are starting to see where many small changes can add up to BIG shifts...

Self-Help Is a Myth! 

Reading about these principles, listening to talks and understanding them in theory is an incredible step in the right direction, but it’s not enough!

Where much of the self-help advice stops being effective is when you get back to the office to a full inbox of distractions or home after a long day where it’s easier to place it back on the shelf and turn on the TV. We’ve all done it!

And let’s be honest, is there really such a thing as ‘self’ help?  It’s a myth that we can only improve by doing this on our own! Justice Thurgood Marshall, former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, said it best:

“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots.” 

Practical application of the habits and principles of effectiveness is where most people falter. It takes discipline to achieve change, as well as a strong support system to help guide, mentor, coach and counsel you through.

When looked at as a set, the first 6 habits are clearly split in 2 categories. The first 3 habits encourage personal responsibility, while the next 3 focus on building the right relationships and connections around you to support you.  Being able to find balance between these internal and external areas in your life requires constant application and is often challenging.

This is where the 7th habit of self-renewal is important and critical to achieving success across all aspects of your life!

Stephen Covey describes how the seventh habit of highly effective people is important when applying these principles in your life, that to:

Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have--YOU”.

The process of taking care of yourself can be broken down into four dimensions (BHMS):

  • Body (physical and material including career),
  • Heart (social & emotional),
  • Mind (mental) and
  • Spirit (your life force)

As you renew yourself in each of the four areas, you create growth and change in your life. This doesn't mean you have to do it alone, find people who will encourage and support you while they are on their own journey to improvement. When you start to sharpen the saw, it keeps you fresh so you can continue to practice the other six habits. By improving one, you increase your ability to improve them all.  Why is this important in your career?

Are You Willing To Stop Wishing And Start Taking Action? 

If you take a step back and look at your work history, was there really that one manager or company, missed promotion or lacking skill that has held you back? Was it REALLY everyone and everything else who held you back? Was it your circumstance or was it something else?

When last were you honest enough with yourself that the common factor in all those scenarios and relationships is, in fact,  you?

"Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be." 

Jack Welch, Forbes’ Manager of the 20th Century

Most people will have defensive, angry and indignant reactions to those questions. Answers full of justifications and excuses and a little bit of hurt ego… Maybe even a blush of embarrassment or flash of frustration? Those are the ones who never get the best jobs.

If we were facing reality, every one of us would put up our hands to admit to at least one, if not all, of those feelings.  So why does it take so long for us to take action?

An important part of wanting to improve your life needs to be committing to the reality of what your present is. Only then can you responsibly release your creativity and imagination in creating your future. This foundation of owning your part in the journey, without blame, is where you will start to build your life by design, with intention, with strength. Taking action no matter what your situation and circumstances and if you don't know how to. Ask for help! Start by talking to us on Live Chat if you want!

“The path to success is to take massive determined action.” Tony Robbins

We want to leave you with these three clear steps to make a difference in your career:

  • Be responsible for changing your life - Take immediate action
  • No-one does it alone! Surround yourself with people who can help guide and support you
  • Apply the principles of the the 7 habits

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain

It’s time to commit to working on yourself to achieve your potential! And the best part is, there are already people ready and willing to help you make meaningful progress towards your goals.  Why not start today?

Click here to join a 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Mastermind Group where we support one another to improve our lives, careers and businesses.

How To Apply This

    Which areas of your work-life would you like to improve?

    Manage my stress levelsTake care of my physical health through exercise and nutrition to keep my immune system strongBe responsible with the importance I place on owning things and the time I spend on meaningless activitiesKeep my mental capacity growing through continuous learningTreat my colleagues with the empathy, understanding and compassion that I expect from themCreate meaningful relationships with people I can continuously learn fromBe a leader amongst my peers through my actions and exampleWork in an industry that has the same values and integrity as I doSeek out guidance and counsel from mentorsAll of the Above!

    Would you like to learn more about career professionals supporting one another in mastermind groups to become more effective?

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