How Employment Flexibility Can Improve Your Career

Flexibility can lead to greater career satisfaction.

Flexibility can lead to greater career satisfaction.

Many of our readers are PCSing and looking for new jobs. We turned to career expert, Stacy Swearengen at Portable Career Planning for some helpful advice. Enjoy insight into employment flexibility.


Anyone who has met me for more than 5 minutes knows that the one thing I’m most passionate about…outside of my portable career planning business…is Bikram yoga.

Normally, I hate heat and humidity (and this form of yoga includes both of these elements with ideal conditions being 105o and 40% humidity), but there’s just something about a room full of fellow yogis, the postures and the rewards I reap that gives me the desire to keep going back again and again.

Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert on all things yoga, and Bikram yoga is somewhat of a controversial topic among the yoga community. I simply know my own experience and that I enjoy the benefits; one of which is flexibility.

According to a blog post, there are many benefits to possessing this thing called flexibility, such as lower risk of injuries, overall health benefits and improved quality of life.

I always knew flexibility was of value in athletics, but the career coach part of me couldn’t help but wonder if flexibility and its corresponding advantages could apply to the job search.

Using the article I mentioned before as a launching pad, I decided to explore how a little employment flexibility can go a long way in developing a truly rewarding career:

Improved Performance

Apparently, flexibility can improve your ability to deal with simple, everyday actions. In the job world, this means that being adaptable in your career can improve your overall satisfaction in other areas of life.

By being open to the possibilities that present themselves, you give yourself the opportunity to grow your career, deepen your learning and apply the knowledge you’ve gained to future experiences. By adapting to the innumerable situations life presents (whatever they may be), you naturally have a more positive outlook on things.

I am a firm believer that every job experience, whether you love or hate it, is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and what you want. When you choose to exercise your adaptability, you can actually use the variety of different types of employment you’ve had to your overall career’s advantage.

 Fewer Injuries

Often, injuries result from muscle strain or sprains. Increased flexibility, however, allows your muscles and joints to stretch.

Well, too often, I find military spouses at a place of frustration or even resignation. They have given up on the idea of ever having the career they want while their service member is in the military. Being inflexible in your career development can be one cause for such an “injury.”

Injuries limit your ability to continue on in finding the jobs you want. Instead, you have to spend time nursing them back to health. The same thing goes for reaching that point where you throw your hands in the air and say, “I just give up on my career!” Once you get to that point, it takes time to work back up to having confidence in your career and to build up your perseverance again.

 Eliminates Stress

Having the ability to stretch puts less stress on our muscles. In the same way, being able to adapt to the external pressures of military life can cause much less stress on our minds and career.

When you are truly flexible in your employment, there is no need to freak out or feel hopeless, because you understand that nothing is permanent. You are able to bend so that you don’t break.

Turn Up The Heat!

Remember how I said I love Bikram yoga, even with the heat? Well, that heat actually helps in:

  • Protecting the muscles to allow for deeper stretching
  • Allowing you to experience more flexibility

The discomfort that the heat can cause also serves as a catalyst to make us grow stronger. It’s the same way in life. Those external factors like moving every 3-5 years, having employment gaps on our resume and being in a less than ideal job market can all help to increase our flexibility—we just have to allow it to do so.

In a Bikram yoga studio, you have the option of laying down for the entire class if you want to, but doing so doesn’t result in the same rewards as actually pushing through. In life, you can lay down and try to avoid the discomfort, waiting for your spouse’s military career to end, or you can be trained by it and increase your stamina and ability to adapt!

Contact career expert, Stacy Swearengen at Portable Career Planning for more advice.

Looking for a new job? Look no further. SargesList has new jobs added every day.

PCSing? Need help? Read more advice from Stacy and other special sections about careers in our free PCS Guide.

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