Armed with career strengthening strategies

For many of the early years of my career I worked in a very physically demanding environment. Often I joked that going to the gym, exercising or working out was completely unnecessary because my job provided up to eight hours of that each shift.

Being so active and performing physical work was tiring and hard on the body, but also provided the benefit of a built in fitness regime. One of the side-effects from my work was a very muscular physique.


People regularly asked me if I was a body-builder, weight-lifter or some other type of fitness fanatic. No matter what, I always got strange reactions and looks of disbelief when I informed them that I didn’t do any of those things. No one seemed willing to buy that my “buff arms” were simply a result of my job.

Sometimes, it was actually a source of embarrassment that prompted me to wear longer sleeves to avoid the looks and comments. It got to the point that even after I no longer did that type of work, my self-consciousness made me reluctant to do too much activity that would stimulate muscle growth in my arms.

Perhaps, I took it for granted that those muscles would stay firm without any further conditioning. Unfortunately, that approach backfired and my lack of strengthening, combined with age and typical female genetics resulted in increasingly squishy upper arms.

No one likes the look or feel of flabby body parts. But when exposed, arms in particular have a way of waving their flaps around for all to see. I sure wish I could exchange the visible mushy mess with the muscle I once tried to hide.

That reaction is very similar to when people get complacent in their careers and suddenly realize their previously comfortable situation is gone and they don’t know how to get it back. The new normal is anything but predictable and what we once took for granted in the way of structure, stability and strength may never exist again.

Professionals must stay vigilant in conditioning themselves for the future. Just like our muscles get soft from lack of use, our knowledge, skills and abilities can quickly become obsolete if we don’t take action to step up our learning regimen.

None of us have a crystal ball or psychic powers to preview what lies ahead, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take control of what we do know. We must continue exercising our brains, building our talent and creating a resilient mind-set to buffer ourselves from the challenges and obstacles we can’t specifically predict, but sure can expect.

What steps are you taking to buff up your career?

Article by Kelly Blokdijk ~ As a Talent Optimization Coach & Consultant with TalentTalks, Kelly thrives on “Creating a Voice for Talent” by partnering with business professionals and job seekers to build competitive career marketing strategies, customized communication materials and compelling personal branding campaigns to create a lasting positive impression. TalentTalks consults with the business community on innovative, leading-edge human resource and organization development initiatives to enhance talent management, talent acquisition, corporate communications and employee engagement programs. TalentTalks routinely posts employment market and job search related content on Facebook, LinkedIn, GooglePlus and Twitter – fans and followers welcome!




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  2. Craig said

    Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Great choice of colors!

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