There are plenty of reasons to date a runner (see here, here, and here), but a lot of us are happily married. However, being a runner and marathoner is one of the first things I mention in job interviews. Why? Because that one simple fact can tell your potential employer a lot about yourself. Most runners embody a lot of traits of great employees. Here are just a few of the reasons employers should hire more runners:
We are passionate.
If you’ve ever talked to a runner, you’ll know it. We like to talk about it a lot. We eat, sleep, and breathe the running life. That passion translates well to our jobs. We will throw ourselves at our job with the same passion we do everything else, full force. This may translate differently across different fields, but for me it means treating each of my client’s businesses as if it were my own.
We are healthy.
We rarely get sick, so we won’t call out for sick days. We also rarely go to the doctor (even when injured) so we won’t run up the health insurance costs. I’ve only called out twice in over 7 years of employment, and once was due to food poisoning.
We are social.
Very few runners I know are introverts. Runners will strike up random conversations with people during races just to have someone to talk to. We make instant friends, and are naturally drawn to want to be friends with our coworkers, and participate in work activities. Trivia night, anyone?
We are dedicated.
Training for a race requires dedication, and that bleeds into other areas of our lives. If we say we’re going to run 5 miles, we run 5 miles. If we tell you we’ll get a report to you by close of business, expect that report written and on your desk in time. Or sooner.
We look for new challenges.
For runners, enough is never enough. Once the 5K has been conquered, the 10K is the new goal. After that, a half marathon. After that, a marathon, After that, we have to get faster at them all. Runners love new challenges at work too. Personally, I’m always looking for ways to improve what I do or take on more.
All those miles helps us to release any negative energy we may have, which means we come to work happy and ready to work. Okay, sometimes coffee helps too.
We can manage our time.
Scheduling training runs, working, and having a social life requires a lot of coordination. Sometimes it requires waking up extra early in order to shower and be at work on time. And don’t even get us started on that one friend who always shows up late to group runs. You can trust us to be on time, and manage our work day well.
We are planners.
We like having things organized. We meal plan. We lay out our race calendars months in advance. We always know exactly where we are in our training plan. Most of us can tell you every race happening in a 50 mile radius for the next two months. We like to know what’s going on in both our personal and professional lives.
We go out of our comfort zones.
Running hurts. It is not comfortable. Sometimes, work isn’t comfortable, like when you have a task you really really don’t want to do. But you know what? We suck it up and just do it, just like those mile repeats.
Make too many cookies for a non-work party? Bring them in! Want to order pizza? We’ll help you eat it. It’s a birthday? Don’t worry about that extra cake. The runners in the office will be on any food like scavengers, saving you from having to deal with leftovers.
*Disclaimer: These obviously do not apply to all runners, but they do to most of the ones I know. Hire at your own risk.