How to Avoid 'Hitting the Wall' in the Marathon of Your Career
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Some career experts equate managing your career with running a marathon.
Like a long-distance runner, career professionals need to train, build endurance and take a long-term view of their working years.
Also like a marathon, there's a danger of "hitting a wall" with your career. Long-distance runners call that "bonking" and dread the so-called middle miles of a race, when the chances of hitting that wall are highly likely.
Dan Steenerson, a self-described professional achievement expert, has some good, sound advice for career professionals who may be feeling bonked themselves these days.
He says that succeeding in business and in your career is very much like running a marathon.
Sure, you know what you want and are anxious to meet your professional goals. But between the start and finish of that race you'll face a great deal of adversity, and how you handle that adversity will directly affect when or even if you'll finish that race, Steenerson says.
"Those requisite, unavoidable middle miles can be a desolate wasteland or they can be the most productive miles of the race it's how you deal with them that determines if and when you cross the finish line, and in what kind of shape ... winning in business is no different," says Steenerson, creator of the "Science of Visioneering" model for business owners, executives and other working professionals.
He says the temptation may to pack it in is real, but it's a temptation you'll have to resist as you hit those dreaded middle miles in your career.
Steenerson has some tips to do just that, as follows:
Stay focused on your goals. "It's in this middle-mile period when there's a huge temptation to quit," he says. "Lack of discipline, poor implementation and failure to simplify are the three primary reasons, but beneath all of those symptoms is the underlying failure: losing sight of the finish line. You have to keep your eye on where you ultimately want to go."
Consider no job too small. The middle-mile portion of your career can be handled more easily the more productive you are, Steenerson says. "Discipline is the foundation upon which all success is built, especially during the middle mile, and is the bridge between wishing and accomplishing," he says. "The formula is pretty simple: Have a no-nonsense attitude, work hard and improve every day. Arrive early and stay late if that's what it takes. Many professionals get stuck in the middle for the simple reason they don't work hard enough to get out of it. Don't be one of them."