As we approach the middle of the year, I’ve been reflecting on our members, your personal goals, and your career paths. One of the things I love most about this calling is the variety of our combined experiences, coupled with the uniqueness and individuality of our members, which allows us all to learn from each other. We’ve had an amazing opportunity to gain insight into your greatest achievements, and the breadth is astounding – probably more about this in a future post.
One of the key themes emerging from our engagements, in addition to the naturally career- and study-focused paths you’ve taken, is that a number of you count physical pursuits and success as among your ambitions. This is probably as a counterbalance to the intellectual ways you spend most of your day at work. For example, we’ve heard about activities as diverse as half-marathons, climbing Kilimanjaro, and open-water diving.
Some of you shared how you prepared for, and practised, to achieve these dreams, and how, while performing, you learnt how both physically and mentally capable you are.
The purpose of this post is to draw some parallels between these physical accomplishments and the process of actively managing and developing your career. From your stories, the starting point is deciding on your goal – a choice which may involve much research and discussion with friends and family, or alternatively, might simply be a quick decision on a whim or after a couple of drinks!
The next stage is then to plan out how you will achieve the goal, effectively drawing up a roadmap of the steps you will take to get there e.g. an exercise regime or a practice schedule, allowing space and freedom to take rests where required, or catchup if circumstances mean you fall behind.
Talking (or, even better, practising) with others who’ve achieved similar things before also helps, both to give you insight into what worked for them, and also to reiterate that your goal is indeed possible with the right combination of desire and execution. The engagement can be a source of motivation to push yourself too.
Another way you could keep your motivation levels up is to plan combinations of rewards and practice into your roadmap e.g. a practice run in a new city you’ve always wanted to visit. The ultimate of these might be a congratulatory reward once you’ve achieved your goal, as this can help inspire you during the tough times. An example here is a trip to the Great Barrier Reef off Australia to celebrate your diving prowess.
Overall, achieving the physical goal requires many of the same characteristics and activities as actively managing your career:
Thank you to those of you who’ve shared your insights with us so far, either via email or as members of PROTAGION. Some of you may recognise your personal achievements and goals as examples above, and we encourage readers of this post to share your stories with us, or comment on our posts, too.
Are there other similarities you’ve personally experienced between training your body for an arduous marathon, triathlon, contest, expedition, or olympics, and actively managing your professional career that you can share with us?