Why being active is important whilst looking for your next career opportunity


It wasn't easy being told that my role as Fundraising and Partnerships Manager had been made redundant at 9am on a sunny Thursday morning in May 2017. However, I felt like I hit the ground running, within hours I was emailing contacts, updating my CV, and applying for roles. I did the same again in 2018 with even more dedication and commitment when my role as Marketing Manager had been made redundant. Now with my contract role of Marketing Advisor coming to an end just before Christmas, I'm back at it.

On reflection, I have found that there is a common element that has ensured that my levels of enthusiasm and passion are high each time that I have found myself looking for my next career opportunity. It's that I've been physically active.

I have been in fortunate situations where my gym memberships have been paid in advance, my canoe club membership is affordable and the club not only offers me the ability to go kayaking but to also train in their gym, I've worked on influencer campaigns with studios and gyms such as Bodhi and Ride, and I also have an assortment of sports and training equipment and clothing. So the financial impact for me to be active is minimal.

While I'm looking for my next career opportunity, I have found a greater appreciation for the role that being active plays in my life.

Being active can be social

It can be a difficult adjustment to go from working as a part of a team to spending a lot of time alone. Through attending group training sessions and even training by self I've met new people, had interesting discussions and been able to socialise with people from a variety of different backgrounds. I've also found it to be a great networking opportunity.

Achieving goals and overcoming challenges
I personally thrive on challenges and have had to look for challenges outside the workplace. Training in a gym has provided me with the opportunity to challenge myself daily. Not too long ago I could only bench 30kg tops for 5 reps over 3 sets. More recently I've been able to bench 50kg for 10 reps over 3 sets. My aim is to bench my body weight at some point, even if it is just a 1 rep max. Every training session for me, whether it is improving my technique, pushing myself further or harder or doing something different has provided me with challenges in which I've thoroughly enjoyed facing.

It makes my mind and body happy

I'm not qualified in fitness or sports science so I can only comment on what I feel and some rather basic points. It is best summed up in Legally Blonde when Elle says "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy." For me it's true, I feel happier when I'm physically active, I also feel more confident in myself.
I have also noticed that with only recently starting to train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Submission Grappling my confidence has increased and I'm becoming more comfortable with the uncomfortable.

I get to practice being disciplined

It would be easy to sit around at home all day watching TV. Other than the fact that I would find it incredibly boring, it wouldn't equip me for when I do land my next career opportunity. I would be lazy and lethargic from doing very little during the day. Whether it's an organised group class or I'm just training by myself, self-discipline along with grit, determination and perseverance is required to ensure I get the most out of my training sessions.

Develops and builds resilience
I've come second to some extraordinary candidates, for some extraordinary roles. I'm not letting the knock-backs hinder my persistence. I'm still calling, emailing, and sending in my applications. As each day goes by I know I'm getting closer to landing the next role in my career. I personally attribute this level of resilience by keeping active and my participation in sport.

I can be more interesting and memorable in interviews
When I go in for an interview and I get asked the question "how has your day been?" or "what do you have planned for the rest of the day?", I can answer this question with that I went for a run, went to the gym, have a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class to go to, or that I plan on going kayaking. Through being able to answer this question with something about being active it makes me interesting and exhibits work-life balance, plus I may find some common ground with the interviewer in which to connect with that's not work-related.

I know that I'm in a fortunate position that I have access to some great facilities in which to train. I think it is important that even though times are tough and the going is hard, that you make time for your mind and body. It doesn't mean that you need an expensive gym membership (some gyms only charge $2 a visit), but that you make time to be active. It could be something as easy as simply going for a 30 min walk during the day.

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