Running, Resilience and Your Career

This post is about facing challenges and setbacks, and ironically, we had some on Monday (and Tuesday) when we originally tried to post this. Our blog host was down, but fortunately we’re back up and running now. And, even though the marathon is over, the message is still relevant…

On Monday, nearly 36,000 runners participated in the famed Boston Marathon. It marked the 118th time this race has been held – but the first time since Boston, the running community and the nation were rocked by a bombing at the race’s finish line last year. Since that day, “Boston Strong” has become a mantra for the city, the victims and everyone affected.

This week, we got to see how strong a year of healing can make you.

So, what does that have to do with your career?

Well, for starters, the sport of running – and the marathon in particular – have always born comparisons to real life. A tragic event like last year’s bombing only makes those metaphors even more fitting, and profound. And, since for many of us work makes up a huge part of our lives, lessons to be learned from running can be easily applied to our careers as well.

This week, the lesson that thousands of athletes and an entire city have to teach us is one of resilience.

In every career – as in every race – there will be setbacks and challenges. Some are small – like getting passed over for a promotion or falling behind your goal pace. Some are significant – like getting a rejection email for your dream job (or no response at all) or twisting your ankle with 5 miles to go. Or worse yet, you lose a job with no warning and feel as if your whole life’s been turned upside down.

No matter what size hill you’re climbing in your own career, the advice is the same. Keep running. If you’ve been knocked down, get up. Running and job search both favor the most persistent, positive and strong-willed people. Make sure you’re one of them. And if you need inspiration, this week you will certainly find it in Boston.


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