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Losing the '20 lbs. of Fat' in Your Job Search, & Career!

Updated: Jun 26

The challenge in maintaining an exercise program is very similar to the challenge in staying in control of your career or job search.

It’s easy to get excited about our career or our job search for a few weeks at a time. The same goes for a new exercise regimen.

This week I’m celebrating the one anniversary of implementing an intensive cardio program. And, I have a confession to make: it was the first time in my life I’ve done cardio on any type of consistent basis. I don’t take pride in that statement, but just as in managing our job search or career, the truth about our efforts is most important.

Yes, many may see me as very lucky, as I’ve always been a ‘skinny’ guy.

And while that is a blessing in so many ways, it can also be a burden to carry in the earlier portion of our life –as expectations in our society set quite a different visual as the goal.

Always having fought to add the right amount of weight in muscle form so that I might be ‘presentable’, lol, I never focused on cardio, only putting my attention toward machines and free weights.

Then, I charted a new course, deciding that if I was going to ‘take control’ physically and live the second half of my life with as much excitement and energy as I envisioned… then I also had to take control of my true health lurking beneath the exterior that seemed just fine.

It’s a similar challenge when looking at our career, or even our job search –if we happen to be looking for a new seat at the table.

It’s very easy to look at the exterior of our career as comfortable; not so bad; in line with what we may see around us.

But, is that really how we envisioned our career when we were still filled with inspiration so close to the surface and with our desires? Does that fulfill the hopes dreams and aspirations that we may have thought of when imagining our journey through the workforce? One day we may wake up and realize that we can’t expect different results, unless we take different actions.

February was quite cold and snowy, so to me it was the perfect time to start my cardio program. In the past my efforts never lasted because I hated being on the ‘machine’ staring at the television, often wondering, “Just who was it that selected ‘this’ channel that I happen to be looking at on the TV?” Most often I would watch the clock hoping and praying that the 20 or 30 minutes might pass, eventually giving up and deciding that it ‘was enough’ for that day.

We will never reach our fitness goals with just 20 or 30 minutes commitment, let’s get real.

And without proper focus on our career, or our job search, it’s very unlikely will ever reach those goals either.

Change is necessary.

It’s the subtitle to by book: Self-Recruiter®: Changing the Rules.

My change involved buying a pair of running tights for the first time in my life, and taking my exercise outdoors along the waterfront in Manhattan. Now people wonder if I even own pants an longer.

Yes, I’m lucky to live just a short walk from the waterfront, and instead of staring at that television waiting for the time to pass or for ‘enough time’ to pass that I could walk away for the day, now I use a physical course so I just can’t ‘cheat’ the effort. Cheating the effort in our job search... is sitting on the Internet looking for job postings imagining we’re going to find those greener pastures that we seek.

It takes real effort to achieve your goals.

My cardio plan: 4 1/4 miles per day speedwalking (running is not so good on the knees and joints), 3 to 4 days per week. Rain, Shine, Sleet, or Snow. That’s whether it’s 15° or 85°. And I supplement those goals with hiking each weekend, typically 3 to 6 miles depending on the rigors of the course, within an hour or two of New York City.

To clarify, that speedwalking is a very fast walk… nearly as fast as is possible, typically coming in at about 13 minutes-per-mile, ending each of those walks by climbing eight flights of stairs (rather than taking the elevator).

Another confession, acquiring an Apple Watch as a coach, it has certainly helped me stay motivated, and connected –even while staying on plan.

Your job search plan, or how you plan to manage your career takes a significant investment of time, strategy and energy.

As a public speaker, who may have 11 events within a single month, in addition to my one-on-one client work, I have a very full schedule and little time to devote to this amount of exercise.

Not dissimilar from what I hear from those in their career, “My job is just too demanding. I’m just too busy. I wish I had time for this.” Without commitment and change you’re not likely to reach your goals.

Several amazing benefits have come out of this new cardio program. My energy levels have skyrocketed, though few who have seen my lectures would ever accuse me of being low energy. My feelings of well-being and peace have skyrocketed. My confidence, especially in tights, lol, has skyrocketed. And I lost 20 pounds of fat in the first four months –which I found astonishing since I was already skinny. As we age, or at anytime in our lives… who really needs that extra fat, so that was quite an unexpected benefit in my case.

When you decide to take control of your job search and career, and invest the consistent focused energy necessary, while also juggling all the other priorities in your life and career, you too will see unexpected benefits that you could not have imagined.

Benefits that will change you and may even change the way that you do your job. Benefits in how you feel about what you have to offer. And benefits in understanding your true value to your current or potentially future employers.

There are only two reasons you ever get hired, assuming you’re capable.

If you’re capable for the jobs that you are pursuing, then it always comes down to chemistry #1 above all other things and confidence #2, above all other things than chemistry. That’s before credentialing; before who you’ve worked for; before any other piece of your background or individual accomplishments.

It was difficult in February to take that first step out of that door… what will people think? “Wow, there’s someone that’s committed.” Or, they’re someone that ‘should be’ committed! The reality is, only one opinion matters: your very own.

Take ownership of who you are; what you bring to the table; and the course you set for your future.

Today is the day.

Seize the challenge and take your first steps. And, then the next. And the next. And the next –until you find yourself in quite a new place, which may be the very top.

Now, let's start getting change in motion!


John Crant

Author, Career Coach & Speaker on Job Search and Career Management

Featured Speaker for

The New York Public Library's JOB SEARCH CENTRAL


In the Media: As Seen As Featured in 

amNY, Time Out New York, The Wall Street Journal (and its, CRAIN'S New York BusinessForbes, CNNBBC, FOX News (on Social Media Marketing), AriseTV, New York PostThe Huffington PostEssence magazine, CareerBuilder and The Ladders

On the Radio: As Guest: WHCR 90.3 FM "The Voice of Harlem"


As an industry manager, executive recruiter, recruiting & sales trainer, event speaker, and as VP of a nationwide system of recruitment offices, I have seen most every aspect of the hiring process and this varied insight is what provides the clarity you will find in this book.


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