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by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Career Planning, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Professional DevelopmentTagged as:

Have you ever had an athletic injury, and found yourself on the sidelines? Interestingly, this happens off the field too: we let a professional “injury” shunt us to the sidelines as well.

Athletes quickly learn that a leg injury just means a renewed focus on the upper body. So should we when it comes to our careers: our focus must be on ability – not disability:

  • Uncomfortable giving presentations? Focus on improving your written communication skills.
  • Don’t have a particular degree or professional designation? Surround yourself with those who do – and use their skills.
  • Turned down for a special project? Focus on distinguishing yourself on the projects you currently have.
  • Hate doing “sales”? Spend time learning about your clients’ needs.


Have you unwittingly been focusing on your injury? Catch yourself if you have, and use this energy more productively to achieve an important goal. Focusing on your career injury defines your boundaries; focusing on your abilities defines your potential.

Counterpoint:  The idea of playing to your abilities – your strengths – instead of your weaknesses is critically important.  Yet, you can sometimes find yourself limited by an extreme lack of ability to perform a particular task.  If this is the case, a parallel strategy is to buttress your weaknesses, so that they no longer hold you back.  Or, go somewhere else where your extreme lack of ability is irrelevant.

Does this topic resonate? Reach out to Randall: he can present it to your group.  (More presentation topics)
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