Did you know that running is one of the fastest growing participatory sports in the United States? My company sponsors distance running events across the country, bringing runners, spectators, employees and the community together in a positive and memorable way. Training for a distance running event and preparing for a secure financial future share a common theme — both require discipline and a long-term commitment to succeed, right?
As I think about my team in Atlanta preparing for the ING Georgia Marathon this Sunday, I started reflecting on marathons as it relates to career planning. Consider your career planning like training for a marathon. Think about the key objectives for a person who is training for a marathon. You need:
Marathon runners need discipline to start training and stick to it. Goals are set for the training period and to finish the marathon in a preferred time. Determination is needed race day as those legs start to burn along the way, and you see that you’ve only reached mile 18. Oh. Let me clarify that I don’t know this from personal experience (I’m a five-mile guy); it’s just what I’ve heard from distance runners. However, what I can relate from personal experience is that career planning shouldn’t be an afterthought. People are working longer these days. The thought of early retirement is almost passé. So, you need discipline to think about your career path, and you have to set personal goals. Revisit those goals for fine-tuning every now and then — expect a slight injury here and there — and learn from it. Employ determination to stay the course to be what you want to be when you grow up. Ready, set, go!