Running in place doesn’t get a lot of respect. Many athletes think of it as what you do when you’re waiting for a light to change, or when you have absolutely no alternative. It’s virtually the fitness equivalent of spinning your wheels, and nobody wants to do that.
Especially when it comes to their careers.
But just as there’s more going on with jogging in place than meets the eye, working through those career plateaus can yield valuable insights.
Running in place will get your muscles moving, elevate your heart rate and let you break a sweat. Competitive boxers sometimes use it in their training, and other athletes practice running in place with high knees to improve their over-all performance. According to FitDay.com, a 5’5” 35 year-old woman weighing 135 pounds running in place for 30 minutes would even burn 202 calories.
Of course, what you get out of it depends on what you put into it, but isn’t that the case with anything?
Take your career. If you’re feeling a stalled out these days try some self-examination, laced with imagination. Picture yourself as a jogger, running in place. Are you hopping around, waiting for the light to change? Are you doing this because it’s your only option, or because you don’t have the drive to pursue some other kind of exercise?
Your response offers clues to the way out of your work rut. If you’re waiting for a green light at work so you can kick your career into high gear, better make sure that the light is still working. Are there clear pathways for advancement with your company? What do you have to do to start running along them? What does the economic future look like for your company and your industry? If conditions don’t look promising, it could be time to start thinking about a major shift.
But if you see yourself as a runner with no alternatives to running in place, then it’s time for you to start planning a career shift. Examine your key competencies and see how you can re-package them for other fields, or see a career counselor – just make certain you do something, because you don’t want to get yourself stuck on this plateau.
And if you find yourself running in place because you just don’t feel like doing anything more strenuous, then you have to ask yourself why. Is it a temporary slump or are you seriously burnt out? Are problems with management or co-workers keeping you from feeling fully engaged at work?
Whatever your situation, figuring out why you feel stuck will help you get moving again.
And you can still pick up your knees when you set off.
by Danielle Dresden