You would had to have been living in a very deep cave to have missed the ongoing debate about healthcare. Whatever your stand on the various issues, there is no disagreement on two facts:
• No one is guaranteed good health.
• Our bodies require constant care.
Health insurance is not the only way to achieve good health—clearly, we must also do our part—but it is a critical component of a life well lived. When an illness or medical emergency strikes, insurance gives us access to the expertise of physicians and the power of medicine. It provides the protocols for recovery and for regaining our well-being.
The very same facts apply to our careers, as well.
• No one is guaranteed a meaningful and rewarding career.
• Our careers require constant care in today’s challenging world of work.
Ironically, however, a lot of working Americans don’t seem to feel as if they need career insurance. They seldom worry about protecting their careers until those careers are sick—an occupational illness most of us call unemployment. And they don’t worry about taking preventative measures to strengthen their careers because … well, if you can tough out the hard times, there is (or was) always plenty of work to go around.
So, what happens?
A lot us just flat out ignore our careers. We let our professional expertise get flabby. We don’t exercise our network of contacts so they wither and grow weak. We fail to practice safe occupational behavior, and our reputations end up battered and bruised, as a result.
Just as unhealthy choices can curtail our lives, we place our futures at risk by making unhealthy choices in our careers. What’s the alternative? Practice “career fitness.”
Career Fitness is a commitment to both career self-management—to taking care of the one-third of your life you will spend in the workplace—and a regimen of healthy career exercises—to performing those activities that will increase the strength, endurance and reach of your career. It’s another form of health insurance, but one to which everyone has access.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about how to practice Career Fitness, get a hold of my new book, Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System. It’s at Amazon.com and in the bookstore on this site.