Career Fitness: Change the Way You Run Your Career


The XeS program acknowledges the unspoken reality of modern employment: you're on your own in both the workplace and the job market. While that situation presents extraordinary challenges, it also opens up extraordinary opportunities, but only if you know how to capture them. Therefore, practicing "Career Fitness" and becoming a smart consumer and applicant will significantly increase your chance for success.

To "keep fit" you need to focus on your career daily, not just on the day of your annual performance review. To do this, you must commit to "pump" up the knowledge and skills you already have. Next, you need to work to "strengthen" those skills and further your knowledge. Change in the workplace is occurring faster than ever due to technology, and the average person changes jobs or positions every 3-5 years as a result of these changes.

Networking is important, however you must actually net-WORK to develop relationships. Many jobseekers participate in social media as their networking. These sites (Facebook, LinkedIn) are helpful and do provide great connections. However, these sites do not provide you the personal connection and professional profile that live networking through specific, focused professional groups or alliances provide. Recruiters today rely on in-house referrals. The word of someone who works there gives great weight to weather you are considered a good fit for the position.

Whether you are working or searching for employment, remaining flexible is important. In your current position, you must search out opportunities to try new things and to go outside your comfort zone and scope of your usual work. The simple effort to volunteer for new projects can lead employers to expand their perspective and see you as "flexible" ad not just stuck in your current job duties/role. If searching for a job, volunteer to perform task that are new or that can expand your skill set. Reach out to your contacts and community to find areas to lend your talents. This too allows people to see you as versatile, flexible, and a "go to person" for talent and knowledge.

Surround yourself both at work and in your network with those perceived as the best. Not only will you learn from these people, but you can gain valuable contacts and credibility just by associating with talent perceived to be so wanted. However, in your pursuit, be sure to pace yourself and not go overboard in networking, job skill building all at once. As discussed earlier, it is important to not focus on this only one day a year, but to practice this Xtreme Success strategy year round.

As you prove yourself to be an asset to others, and apply yourself to positions that are a good fit, you are improving your chances for success. Be a smart consumer; invest in yourself to keep up with new trends, this will set you apart as a candidate. Be a smart applicant, and apply to positions you are a great fit for and if possible that you have connections to through networking. Identify a common group or experience to share with the recruiter, as most recruiters are biased and will easily identify more quickly with those that share similarities to those already employed with their company.

To view more information about the Xtreme Success Program (XeS) and how to keep your "Career Fit," please view the Talent Community Learning Series: Xtreme Success Webinar Series Session 4: The Xtreme Success Program.

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