Pink Tennis Shoes and Resumes

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

I recently bought a pair of (hot-pink) Nike tennis shoes. I researched, consulted with the sports store pros and tried on several pairs to ensure a confident purchasing decision.

On the heels of a focused 12-month exercise and fitness journey that has reinforced the value of strong, capable footwear, I needed to ensure a thoughtful investment. This decision would impact my five-day-per-week workout regimen involving 50-minute sessions lunging, jumping and bending where my feet took on the brunt of pressure. This was an investment in future health.

Similarly, when careerists decide to invest in a new resume and career portfolio, they should understand and research the value of hiring a strong, capable writing strategist who will design muscular stories that will sustain them during an active, often rigorous job search. The resume is the foundation for a healthy future career and shortchanging on that critical communications content will weaken future initiatives.

After narrowing down my purchase between two pairs of Nikes, I strove to convince myself that the navy blue pair were a better fit. In reality, the brighter, hot-pink shoes were more amenable to comfort and long-lasting, enduring support. I based this on feel as well as listening–really hearing–what my fitness professional was telling me.

With one eyebrow raised,  I succumbed to the brighter duo. It didn’t take long for me to embrace my new colorful feet; in fact, they have added a bit of a bounce to my step and attitude, and I actually prefer these more animated shoes to my prior, boring set. [Side note, as I’m writing this post, my friend and resume writer, Julie Walraven’s post that emphasizes the value of color in resumes floated by. You’ll want to check it out, HERE.]

Similarly, careerists, when vetting out a resume partner, consider fit first and foremost. What, or who, will serve your foundational needs? Step outside the box of traditional beliefs as to what your resume should look like, the content should sound like, the length should be like, and succumb to what is presented to you as the optimal solution to your burning career needs.  Step outside of your frame and allow yourself to feel a bit vulnerable.

Now, after I introduced my new, hot-pink shoes to my work-out, doubts crept in. They didn’t feel the same as my last pair. My feet hurt. They were slipping off of my heels during critical movements and lunges. I adjusted the lacing; I tried different socks; I complained to my husband. But I didn’t want to give them up. Something told me–intuition, I guess–that these were my new workout partners, and to continue adjusting and adapting.

Careerist, does this sound familiar? Have you hired a professional resume writer only to later squirm at the results, doubting your decision? The verbiage is too colorful (e.g., ‘Captained’ vs. ‘Directed’); it’s not how “I” would speak about myself; it’s too long; it hurts to think about using this. I want my old, comfortable resume back, even though it was worn out and no longer performing.

So, a couple of more weeks passed, and I still was unclear if my new shoes would break in and become a permanent fitness fixture. Discovering better ways to lace them up; finding  an overlooked hole in the top of the shoes that would help bolster the fit; and simply allowing time to soften the structure up a bit and mold the tennies around my feet and toes made me a believer. Patience was key in allowing my shoes time to meld with my feet and body and their new, active role.

I love my new, invigorating shoes now, and I am well on my way to shaving off more inches as I build new muscle. Letting go of control, stepping outside of my comfort zone and building my momentum with the best tools available are integral to my future fitness success. It also required patience, and giving my new shoes time to perform.

Likewise, careerist, if you want to steer your career forward, you must consider a more contemporary, rejuvenating route to get to your destination. Invest in what fits your future, not what is dragging down your present. Then, apply patience, giving your new, disruptive marketing vehicles opportunity to perform. Instead of lulling the reader to sleep with the same old, cardboard, plain-vanilla message, mobilize your goals by trusting–and displaying confidence in–a fresh, value-focused message that energizes the reader!

To read how others have invested themselves into my revitalizing professional process and their record of results, click HERE.  My team and I are available to help this be your year of career transformation!

9 Responses to “Pink Tennis Shoes and Resumes”

  1. Debra says:

    Jacqui –

    Marvelous insights, as always! I read this just before our son left to purchase a new pair of cleats [he plays Ultimate –

    Like you, he researched extensively, found a vendor to his liking, found a shoe model that fit his need, and will try them on today. Patience, preparation and fit … so important with any “game-altering” purchase!

  2. Thank you for the reference, Jacqui! Yes, all of the points you discussed also come up in my client interactions. Love your new shoes and love the inspiration you have shared throughout the last year on your fitness journey.

    2012 was my year for falling down and hurting myself. I hope 2013 is the year of fit for me too. (and Buddy will be 2 in April which I think will start the path to a dog who walks with me instead of pulls and trips me…)

    Keep on inspiring, when I talk about length of resume with a client, I often reference you… inspiring in that way too!

    • My pleasure, Julie! The synchronicity of reading your excellent post while writing mine was so valuable, and I was compelled to meld the 2 posts somehow.

      Thank you for your kind remarks regarding the fitness journey, as well as about resume strategies/length, etc. I frequently have observed and admired your holistic commitment to business and personal fitness, and appreciate the challenges that are faced along the way.

      That is great that Buddy is maturing enough (along with your focused training) to hopefully be an ideal walking companion in the future! I hope that have found healing from your 2012 fall, and that 2013 is the year that dreams are made of for you and your family.


      • Awww… thanks Jacqui! Many blessings to you and Rob also in 2013! I feel more enthusiastic than ever before! And since I do tend to be enthusiastic often, that is saying something…

  3. Jacqui,
    I’m so glad you decided to stick with the new shoes; not only because they work for you, but also because you mined your experience for a new post.

    I’ve noticed the same thing with some of my clients. “It’s not working,” they may say when I’ve asked them to do a stress undressing technique. They may have lived with their stress for so long that it becomes like a worn pair of shoes – comfortable, but not really. The trick, as you’ve discovered, is to be patient, to practise and watch for those subtle (and sometimes rapid) changes that begin to occur.

    We are so accustomed to “instantrapidnow-ness” that we forget that we need time to grow into our new “look and feel”, whatever that may be.

    • Hi Marianna,
      LOVE how you related this post to your work with clients, especially how you described their having lived with the stress so long it “becomes like a worn pair of shoes – comfortable, but not really.” I think that response is universal. I know I’ve been in that emotional space at various times in my life!

      Many thanks for your, as always, thoughtful and interesting comment!


  4. Haha, I liked Mariannas comment. I work at a recruitment agency and can relate. I’m not a consultant but I do observe them.

    I’m pleased I’m not the only one that researches my shoes! it’s one of those things that you do and wonder ‘hmm I wonder if there’s others that do this’.


  5. […] #2: If you feel a career strategist (resume and portfolio writer and/or career coach) is essential to help you gain traction and direction, then allocate […]

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