A Career is a Marathon

I just turned 48 years old. That sure seems old to me now as I, like most people, thought I would be 25 forever. However, based on my genetics, some good clean living and God’s blessings – I’m only half way through my career. And I’ve really enjoyed my career so far.

When I’m not working, one of my favorite things to do is workout – more specifically, run. I ran long distance in High School, and I wasn’t too bad (set the record for the mile run in Jr. High). Later in life I ran 5Ks, 10Ks and even competed in a few triathlons. At one time I set out to train and complete a marathon. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of similarities to careers and marathons, looking back.

If you really stop to think about training for any kind of physically taxing event, you have a lot of prep work to do. And you have a lot of rules and tips to remember along the way; things you learned the hard way, or a mentor taught you.

Let’s look at a comparison of some tips to remember when searching for, or staying in, your dream career.

  • · It’s natural to want to start off at a fast pace. You’re excited, you’ve waited a long time for this, and you want to get out in front of the competition – but not too far out or you will likely burn yourself out.
  • · It’s important to know your competition. For example,
    there are those rabbits that start out super fast, only to burn themselves out half-way through. Don’t let those guys suck you in to their way of doing things, run your own race at your own pace.
  • · It’s good to break it up into four or more races in sequence, rather than one long race. In your career, you will probably have many job changes, and role changes. Learn to roll with the punches, and realize that everything flows better if you take it one step (sequence) at a time.
  • · Training is important. Have a plan to get there. If you never ran further than a mile, you can’t leave the house tomorrow and run 26.2 miles. That would be foolish, and almost impossible! The same goes for your career. You have to ensure you stay up on the latest trends, keep yourself educated in your field of choice and keep learning every chance you get. Don’t be afraid, or ashamed to be a lifelong student of your craft or trade.
  • · Nutrition is critical to your success. If you are only running a mile, nutrition is not that important. When you burn 4 days’ worth of calories in one race however, you have to plan accordingly. The same goes for your career. You get out of it what you put into it – much like your body. If you only give everything you do on the job half your effort, then you’ll likely only get half the respect, or go half as far. As with most things, quality is far better than quantity. I heard someone say once that just because you can eat it and digest it, doesn’t make it food. Well, just because you show up and go through the motions, doesn’t mean you’re going to excel at your job.
  • · Plan for contingencies – injuries, equipment failures, bad days, rain, set-backs, lay-offs, etc. Surely you’ve been close to someone who was laid off, have been laid off yourself, or worked for a company who had lay-offs. They are, unfortunately, part of business these days. So just like with an injury or a rainy day, you have to have a back-up plan, or a Plan B; It’s just good common sense.
  • · It’s very helpful to work with someone who has done this before – a coach or mentor. Many people hire a coach or personal trainer to get further than they could on their own. They need to switch up their routine, learn something new, improve their time, or gain some new motivation. Plus, the experts know things you might not. And the same goes for career training. Sometimes you need to call in the reinforcements so to speak to shake yourself out of that career rut, and find your true dream job one day.

Our career coaches (AKA: Recruiters) can help.

Contact us today to learn more, and to see how our coaches can help set you on the right path to winning your career marathon. Who knows, you may even beat your own time!

CEG Partners is experienced in consulting and recruiting. Our consulting practice includes – Program Management, Lean Six Sigma, LTE (Long Term Evolution), Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Process Improvement, Customer Loyalty, and Employee Surveys.