Building a successful career is like training for a marathon

Building a successful career is like training for a marathon

Feb 21
Jean Drasgow, Director of Career Services
  

Since I was in the sixth grade and learned about ancient Greece, I’ve wanted to run a marathon. I thought it was impossible. I knew that an Athenian soldier died completing one, so I was a bit gun-shy to say the least. Building a professional career can seem as daunting to a 20-year-old as running a marathon to a 12-year-old, but prepping for them is similar.

If you’ve ever run long distances, you know that the average person doesn’t go out and put down 26.2 miles at the drop of a hat. Most runners need a disciplined plan with smaller milestones along the way. You start by running about three miles three to four times a week and cross-training on off days. You also take a day off to recover. You slowly build a long run into your schedule.

In terms of careers, you most likely won’t start out as a CEO. You will start by taking the entry-level jobs that help to develop the skills you need to be successful for our ultimate goal. These lower-skilled jobs give you the opportunity to develop a good work ethic; practice your public speaking, enhance your teamwork, etc. Over time, you will develop the professional muscle and stamina to be successful in your career. The trick is to keep finding opportunities to help you toward our long-term career goal such as extra assignments or promotions that increase your skill-set. If your long-term career goal isn’t obvious at first, keep exercising your professional skills and stay current in your profession so you will be ready for opportunities as they come. Don’t forget to seek a coach or a mentor to help you perfect your form so that you can run/work injury free. Happy running!

Building a successful career is like training for a marathon