Bill is a 52yr old senior operations executive within a multinational mining organisation. On paper there may be very little that resembles a Mo Farah type marathon runner here.
However, if we zoom out to take a look at Bill's entire career journey to date, suddenly it all starts to look very much like an endurance exercise that certainly has taken its toll on Bill since he left university over 30 years ago.
There is one huge difference though. Whereas nobody runs a marathon without a significant amount of preparation, Bill has approached his career like a guy who has been given entry to the marathon without any prior notice! He is not alone, this is the standard approach to one's career and by the time things start to get intense, well there's even less time to do anything about it. The irony being, that is when the marathon is at its most demanding!
So what is the solution? How do we prepare ourselves for the career marathon?
For me it all starts during our schooling and education.
In order to run the optimal marathon, a runner must prepare with (amongst other things) dietary requirements, injury prevention, vitamin intake, pacing, long distance runs, recovery and of course even more running. All of this doesn't happen by accident. It is a diligent and well thought out plan or strategy even, that the runner commits to well in advance of the event itself.
If we take the same approach to preparing a young aspiring student for a career in the city, then the preparation must commence well before they step foot into day one of their training programme.
I would propose that for certain A Level subjects and especially degree courses where the anticipated career choices that follow are ones of known stress and pressure, resilience building should be included as a part of the curriculum. Resilience coaching and training for those aspiring to work in the most pressured jobs and career paths. This would see graduates in subjects such as economics, medicine, law and alike, approach their career on an entirely different trajectory and would mitigate much of the risk that employers take in blindly hoping this individual has natural resilience built into them! Which at present, is really how it works. You either have the natural resilience to get by until your retirement or the cracks start to surface and before long its too late and you're on the path to burnout.
We know burnout occurs, it is no myth. So I see great value in preparing for this eventuality (for employers, educators and future employees) where it is most prominant and nipping the issue in the bud. It will benefit the future of our workforce and certainly the value that they bring to the economy!
For more information on resilience coaching please visit http://www.harvey-sinclair.com