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Stretch yourself and reach up

by Randall Craig on June 6, 2006

Filed in: Blog, Career Planning, Make It Happen Tipsheet,

Tagged as: , , ,

Most athletes understand the importance of stretching: avoiding injuries, becoming more flexible, and improving performance. But unless your business is fitness (or you are a performance athlete) how might this be relevant to you?

First, let me suggest that you ARE a performance athlete, but in the arena of business. You require flexibility (not to mention strength and endurance) if you are to succeed in your career. The question of course, is how to develop it.

Many athletes recognize that to excel, they must push themselves beyond what they are currently doing. Again, this is no different for the health of your career. To succeed, you must move beyond your comfort zone, and stretch yourself “up” to the next level. Career growth requires you to grow – and the operative word is “you”. Here are some ideas:

1) How often have you taken on new challenges within your work group? Ask your manager if you can help with something different.

2) Do you avoid a “scary” part of your job (public speaking, sales, etc)? Figure out why it is scary, and craft a plan to become comfortable doing it.

3) How involved are you as a volunteer outside of the office? If you are a marketing person, for example, consider taking a financial role: do something different!

4) When was the last time you took a course outside your area of specialty? Invest in yourself, and broaden your perspective.

5) When was the last time you tried a completely different sport or hobby? Feeling comfortable doing new things after work will help you adjust to – and take advantage of – changes at your workplace.

New experience gives you different perspectives, intellectual flexibility, and a recharged outlook. Athletes stretch for a good reason, and so should you.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

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Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at randallcraig.com and 108ideaspace.com.

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