Physically Fit? Now Get “Career Fit”!

Darren Kaltved | July 22, 2021

Chances are, since you have elected to pursue a career in public health, you are mindful about eating a healthy diet and getting physical exercise. But has it occurred to you that you need to keep your career physically fit as well? Peter Weddle, author of Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, says, “As with physical fitness, you have to condition your career on a regular and repetitive schedule. You have to develop occupational strength, endurance and reach by working on your seven centers of career vitality…” Here is how Weddle describes these seven areas of “career fitness” on Careerstead:

I. Pump Up Your Cardiovascular System
The heart of your career is your occupational expertise, not your knowledge of some employer’s standard operating procedures. Re-imagine yourself as a work-in-progress so that you are always been adding depth and tone to your workplace knowledge and skill set and memorializing that enlarged capacity on your resume.

II. Strengthen Your Circulatory System
The wider and deeper your network of contacts, the more visible you and your capabilities will be in the workplace. Adding to your network, however, means exactly what the word says—it’s netWORK, not net-get-around-to-it-whenever-it’s-convenient. Make nurturing professional relationships a part of your normal business day.

III. Develop All of Your Muscle Groups
The greater your versatility in contributing your expertise at work, the broader the array of situations and assignments in which you can be employed. Develop ancillary skills—for example, the ability to speak a second language or knowledge of key software programs—that will give you more ways to apply your primary occupational capability in the workplace.

IV. Increase Your Flexibility & Range of Motion
In the 21st Century world of work, career progress is not always a straight line, nor does it always look as it has in the past or stay the same for very long. Moving from industry-to-industry, from one daily schedule to another or even from one location to another is never easy, but your willingness to adapt will help to keep your career moving forward.

V. Work With Winners
Successful organizations and coworkers aid and abet your ability to accomplish your career goals, while less effective organizations and less capable peers diminish it. Working with winners enables you to grow on-the-job, develop useful connections that will last a career and establish yourself as a winner in the world of work.

VI. Stretch Your Soul
A healthy career not only serves you, it serves others, as well. A personal commitment to doing some of your best work as good works for your community, your country and/or your planet is the most invigorating form of work/life balance. It regenerates your pride in what you do and your enthusiasm for doing it.

VII. Pace Yourself
A fulfilling and rewarding career depends upon your getting the rest and replenishment you need in order to do your best work every day you’re on-the-job. The human body and mind have limits, and those limits cannot be extended by multitasking or even a Blackberry. Instead, you have to discipline yourself and your boss to set aside time to recharge your passion and capacity for work.

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