I am linking up with Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, Erika at MCM Mama runs and Patty at My no guilt life for Tuesdays on the run where today’s topic is Race t-shirts. I have never worn a race t-shirt because I am very picky about the quality and the fit (sorry race organizers!), so today’s post will be about the parallels between training and working.
A little bit of background…. I LOVE what I do. I work in market research (opinion polling) in an international company. We are present in over 80 countries and our clients are some the biggest companies in the world.
I am what is know as a Global Account Director, I am responsible for the relationship with one of our top accounts. This means I work with my client to make sure we have a mutually beneficial relationship and to ensure the client is satisfied with the services we offer.
But as with any job, there are many challenges… If you work in a service industry, you know things don’t always go as planned. There can be quality issues, there are always problems to solve, solutions to find, and of course clients to meet. Multiply this by 30 countries. This requires early morning phone calls to China, late night phone calls with the US, global travel to meet the clients and our teams.
I love it… because I work with so many different people and cultures, and one day is never the same as the next. It is challenging, rewarding and has offered me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally (in addition to the great travel). I am highly involved and good at what I do because it makes me tick, fulfilling the need of variety, intellectual stimulation, and challenge.
If you are new to my blog, thanks for stopping by. I am training for my first marathon, April 3rd, using a 6 month Jeff Galloway plan. It is going very well and I think I am loving it because it is so much like my job.
- I need a strategy, a plan and need to follow through. I have to decide how my company should invest its time and resources with the client, which requires a long term plan with specific milestones. Just like a marathon. You can not wing a marathon (well, maybe you can but I couldn’t). I am very sensitive to making good use of my time and being efficient, so determining what strategy I want to use, what steps I need to take and how to reach the final goal is always lingering at the back of my mind.
2. I learn to go with what is thrown my way. No matter how much planning and anticipation I do, things don’t always work out. A major issue comes up ? A new opportunity ? An unsatisfied client ? Some days are good, some are bad. Adapt and adjust. I started a plan with a time goal of 4:20…. which was way too ambitious I learned, so I am aiming for 4:45.
3. I appreciate the small victories. Working with clients is about building relationships. We are vying for business. Everyone is working on a budget. Its hard. Learning to appreciate the small victories keeps me motivated…. like in running. A new distance ? a PR ? Learning to recognize those accomplishments fuels my motivation.
4. I connect with people of different backgrounds and origins. I always wanted to work internationally, in an international environment. In one week I speak to people in Brazil, Mexico, Poland, China, Japan, Egypt, Italy, the UK, Spain, Canada… all linked by the client we are working on. Just like running. Meeting runners through blogging, social media, in a running group, or with colleagues, we are all connected by a similar passion.
5. I have to be patient ! Working with clients, putting into the place the foundations of a long term, healthy relationship takes time. It doesn’t just happen overnight. Just like marathon training ! I have finished week 19…. faithfully following a plan. I have another 7 weeks, then it will all be over in less than half a day. 🙁
I consider myself very lucky to have a job I love. Do you work ? Do you see any parallels with your job ? your volunteer activities ?