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The marketer in me really wanted to post the title as, “Let’s Get Physical” or “I Wanna Get Physical”, but I figured that was a REALLY unfair attention grab, vs. the slightly unfair attention grab from the title I chose. So, what does “getting physical” have to do with the job? You’re looking at the outfit I wore while moving tradeshow booth cases and promotional materials across the warehouse! We do quite a few tradeshows during the year, and part of my job as the Marketing Coordinator is to make sure that the shipments are ready, and that the promotional room is organized. In theory, I have a “desk job”, but in reality, I spend a fair amount of time each month bending, lifting, and transporting items that are pretty heavy for “light office work”. Personally, I really enjoy the physical portion of my job, as it gives me a break from the computer and lets me get in some exercise when I don’t have time for the gym. However, this physical work makes it a little difficult to be in “professional” clothes. Clearly, I can’t wear a skirt to bend and lift, but pants tend to get hot after two or three trips up the stairs while carrying boxes. Thus, I end up doing my best to choose my lightest-weight pants and shirts when I know I’ve got physical work ahead of me.
While I don’t mind some physical work, I do wonder how many jobs that are considered “desk jobs” actually involve quite a bit of physical work. Most job descriptions that I’ve seen do include some requirements about the ability to stand or sit for an extended period of time, ability to lift a certain amount, etc. I think I’m much better prepared now to understand what those descriptions entail, and I think it’s wise to make sure you include the physical portion of the job when considering an offer. If you have any sort of health problem that might preclude you from physical work, you should definitely ask about the physical requirements, even for positions that don’t seem like they would require physical work. Consider lawyers, copywriters, accountants, and proposal/grant writers. Each of these seems like a white-collar job without physical components… but what happens when you have to carry the case notes home, the artwork/storyboards, or the paper forms that you just can’t file electronically? Can you lift your briefcase? Or, what about sales reps that often bring samples to their clients? Can you handle rolling around a huge suitcase full of product, lifting the case into the car, and bending up and down to retrieve the items? It doesn’t seem like much, but these physical demands do call for some consideration in how you approach your day.
This outfit worked for the first 15 minutes, but I did start to get hot with the belt around my waist. Maybe next time I’ll try a belt-less look to keep me cooler! How do you prepare for the physical elements in your job? Like the outfit? Check out more details here.