Career Fueling Exercises


A few months ago,  after my husband and I voiced solidarity in recharging our work-out routines, I met with a humbling experience, followed by an epiphany. After transitioning from my morning wake-up routine and proudly lacing my tennisshoes,  I grabbed my Droid and headed downstairs to fulfill my day’s exercise commitment.

Eyeing the fancy new exercise bike in which we recently invested, I adjusted the seat Career Fueling Exercises height from Rob’s 6′ 2″ frame to accommodate my 5′ 3″. Popping a DVD in the player, wrapping my bundle of hair into a ponytail, and placing my Droid in the holder, I began pedaling.

“Hmmm,” I thought, as I reached for my Droid, “I wonder what tweets I may be missing? Oh, what about my email … let’s see, click, read, refresh, read, refresh.” Pedaling some more, my pace ebbed and flowed as I focused in and out of the task at hand and the ever-constant chatter of my friendly Twitter stream, or dipped back into email to ensure I was up-to-the-minute with client, colleague or partnership initiatives.

Hmmm, exercising like this is not only physically cathartic, but amazingly contributory to my business goals … or so I justify. And wow, it really isn’t so hard … fun, actually.

Humming along in my happy place, I continued to absorb tweets and emails, filter audio moments from the television, and pedal, when, suddenly, a large, confident hand reached into my sanctuary and plucked away my Smartphone, accompanied by my husband’s incredulous remark.

Instantly, red-faced, I nodded agreement, refocusing my attention to my exercise goal and releasing my Droid from its grip.

Similarly, in job search, I often hear career-minded folks expressing a strong desire to land that next great gig propelling them to a more gratifying environment with better hours, less travel, more kudos, reduced stress and perhaps even, a salary raise.

All they need is that shiny new career bike to trim and tone their resume and construct a job-search roadway with smoothly paved highways and bridges that will lead them to their new destination. Oh, what a fun adventure!

Unfortunately, this formulaic and unpainful approach to career management rarely works. While custom career equipment including resumes, cover letters, biographies, leadership addenda and LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles are critical to providing the word story essence, the job seeker must be the fuel, moving the career communications along the highway.

 Career Fueling ExercisesAnd providing this fuel often means a bit of heart-pumping, energy jolting, emotional sparring that sparks both fear and pain, while ultimately creating a sense of exhilaration.

This organic, integrated marketing communication exercise includes arduous maneuvers, where, in the moment, all you can concentrate on is moving through it. Examples of these career fueling exercises include:

1. Placing an uncomfortable cold call asking a warm contact for help.

2. Joining an industry association where the movers and shakers YOU want to meet attend, then actually attending meetings and joining committees to begin building that career relationship bridge.

3. Getting active on LinkedIn and Twitter, offering meaningful content that delivers value and positions you as an industry or position-specific expert.

4. Researching and connecting with hiring decision-makers and company insiders via LinkedIn, JigSaw, Manta.com, ZoomInfo, Twitter and other online goldmines.

5. Reading the local business news, such as Bizjournals.com, in the geographic area where you want to land, noting movers and shakers, business expansions and changes, new shoots of growth to which you can offer yourself as a business developing, profit-generating, customer relationship building expert who can add value and solve challenges linked to their growth. Then, contacting the decision-makers at these companies, introducing yourself.

5. Reaching out to recruiters via email, and then placing a carefully orchestrated phone follow-up that adds value to the written conversation.

6. Asking for informational interviews to build relationships with pros in the target profession you desire, and then preparing in advance to show them you value their time.

7. Practicing interviewing with a trusted, objective third-party interview coach, garnering and responding to their constructive feedback.

8. Telling your friends, neighbors, librarian, former co-workers and bosses of your career transition goals; you never know whom they might know and at some point in the process, introduce you to.

9. Sending a brief, high-impact email or snail mail follow-up thank-you to all contacts with whom you connect, showing you value their time and input. Following up periodically with value-add news or other business sharings that prove you listened to their needs and appreciate an ongoing relationship.

By kindling activity and momentum with specific, inertia-inducing career plan action steps, your voice will be heard. Despite having intellectually sweated over a perfectly strategized resume chronicle, if all you do with that newly minted career equipment is submit it through online applications, your resume likely will get lost amidst a sea of others.

By pushing your career muscles to do more each and every day, you will gain career strength and momentum and be able to lift yourself to new levels of progress. Though the day-to-day rigor should be expected to stretch your muscles and stir up a bit of pain, by getting into a rhythm of career exercise, you will find moments where the career endorphins place you into autopilot, making the day’s experiences both productive and joyful.

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Master Resume Writer

22 Responses to “Career Fueling Exercises”

  1. Jacqui,

    All excellent ideas, ones that will fuel the job search and keep up the momentum.

    But you leave me wondering… what was it that Rob said that left you incredulous and red-faced? We are women, after all… we can multi-task! ;)

    Erin

  2. Master Resume Writer says:

    Thanks Erin!

    True, re: multi-tasking! Yet, convincing hubby of that had me a bit befuddled. ; )

    Jacqui

  3. Karen F. says:

    I think a lot of job seekers have held little value to the power of personal contacts, such as next door neighbors, contacts in associations they belong to, and even their friends. The more people you connect with regarding your job search, the higher your chances of being introduced to someone who can actually help!

    Great post, terrific analogy!

    Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter for questions, comments or violent reactions)

    • Master Resume Writer says:

      Thanks Karen. Sometimes the loosest of connections can add value to our careers … and lives.

      Appreciate your thoughts on this, and glad you enjoyed the analogy :)

      ~Jacqui

  4. [...] Career Fueling Exercises | Career Trend [...]

  5. Sabrina says:

    Excellent post! You should be in charge of your career and job search. No one knows you like you – what truly makes you happy. No one will fight and work as hard for you as you will. You are worth the effort! Thanks.

    Sabrina

    • Master Resume Writer says:

      Nice! Love the energy of your comment! “In charge of your career / job search” <– that sings to me! I wish that for ALL of my job seeking clients.

      True that no one will fight and work as hard as you will, on your own behalf … and you’re worth it.

      Appreciate your solid comments, Sabrina!

      ~Jacqui

  6. David Wit says:

    Great advice for students as well.

  7. [...] Career Fueling Exercises | Career Trend [...]

  8. Well Jacqui, A) I admire you for riding the bike. B) if I could find a way to read or do something else while using mine, I would use it more. C.) Rob, hmmm… I just don’t know what to say, I’d probably have grabbed the Droid back…

    You’re right though… you do need to focus on your goals to achieve them and when we dilute them by letting everything else get in the way, we don’t achieve them either. Thank you for another great post!

    • Hi Julie,
      Great word choice re: ‘diluting’ our goals (and thus, not achieving them).

      Focus is key to so much in life, I believe. This doesn’t mean that we don’t adjust our course from time to time, or ever get distracted by obstacles or other course-shifting details, but the key, I think, is controlling what we can (and we have more control over our own lives/goals than we sometimes give ourselves credit for ; )

      As always, thank you for stopping by and offering your insights and support!

      ~ Jacqui

  9. Mike Ramer says:

    Hi Jacqui,

    What can I say except that I so enjoy your writing! You bring words to life and weave a tale that is both engaging, informative and motivational.

    I also ride an exercise bike before I start my workout. I find it helps clear the mind, builds the body and boosts creative thinking. It also gives a feeling of accomplishment which propels me forward to the day’s work.

    To your nine points, so rich with advice. I agree, wholeheartedly. One could have the perfect resume, the perfect Social Media profiles, the ideal “career coach, however, the distinguishing factor is the proactive efforts that a jobseeker must take. As I like to say “Take Action!”

    Kudos to you on another piece, so well written.

    Best, Mike

    • Hi Mike,
      One thing (of several) that I really appreciate about your comments is how they add value and ‘extend’ the story. Thank you!

      You’re so right about riding a bike ‘clearing the mind, building the body and boosting creative thinking.’ My business coach encouraged me to invest in a small, hand-held recorder that I may capture thoughts into (e.g., blog post ideas) when I’m not at my computer – am considering that investment to have ‘at-hand’ when riding my bike, and my creative thinking juices are primed.

      I also love the idea of exercising ‘propelling one forward to the day’s work.’ Great point!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the 9 points, and we are of the same mindset regarding, ‘Take Action!’ Thanks also for your kind words regarding my writing (bringing words to life and weaving a tale = nice!).

      ~ Jacqui

  10. Dawn Lennon says:

    Jacqui, I just love this concept of momentum to move the job search forward and even to carry us forward when we get that new job. It’s momentum that gives us the juice to keep pressing forward when times get tough because it builds on itself. Sure, like you said, we can backslide, but with your terrific list of actions in hand, we know just what to do to restart.

    In so many ways, the job search is about the survival of the fittest, those who dig in and keep going no matter what. Thanks for providing this fabulous survival kit that ensures we’ll reach our destination.

    Great stuff! Thanks! ~Dawn

    • Dawn,
      You and I are of like minds, in so many ways, and your reinforcement of the concept of ‘momentum’ further fortifies our like-mindedness!

      In observing your daily business momentum, you are a super example of mirroring what you suggest others do. ‘It’s momentum that gives us the juice to keep pressing forward …’ (love that!). And you’re right, sometimes we need a list of ‘action steps’ to refer to to restart, as there inevitably will be starts, backslides and restarts toward consummating our goals.

      I really like the idea of a survival kit for ‘survival of the fittest,’ too. Nice! Your comments always are thoughtful and value-adding, extending the message!

      Thanks so much, Dawn!

      ~Jacqui

  11. Ahh, us multi-taskers. You nailed it, Jacqui. New research shows we’re not as productive as we thought with this. But you’ve given us concrete ideas for how to focus. Great post as always.

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