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Learning About Managing Career Change From Marathons

Successful marathoners must overcome their mental and physical fears and self-doubt to finish marathons. Sometimes, they must face “The Wall” during the race. Runners hit “The Wall” between 18 to 20 miles of a 26.2-mile marathon. Successful marathoners must also deal with The Wall in uncontrollable and unpredictable environments, such as heat, cold, rain, snow, steep hills, and high altitudes. They must mentally overcome all of these obstacles to be successful. They must learn to extend and push through their comfort zone.

-Anthony Reed, Speaker, CPA, PC

The above quote comes from the description of Mr. Reed’s speech, “Change Management Lessons From Some of the World’s Toughest Marathons.”

Having ran the Chicago marathon myself, his comparison of managing unexpected career change to managing a marathon really hit home for me. His point about mentally overcoming unexpected hurdles is so very key.

But how DOES one mentally overcome unexpected obstacles?

In my opinion, the answer is training.

I trained and trained and trained for the Chicago marathon. I tried different kinds of terrain, ran in different kinds of weather, and carried extra packets of energy GU so that I would be ready to push through the pain and keep my eye on the goal.

The same thing indeed goes for managing career change. It may sound cliched, but you have to expect the unexpected – and be self aware of how you’re going to act in the moment. This is one of the major themes in my book, RINGMASTER, which I like to think is training for career change in and of itself.

How have you trained yourself to be ready for change that might find its way into your career?