As the world watches the Summer Olympics in Rio, it’s easy to be in awe of the strength, power and determination of the athletes. While most of us will never attain that level of sports success, we can learn from an athlete’s journey.
1) Accept that we all start the journey as a novice
Novice: a person new to or inexperienced in a field or situation. Every athlete didn’t start out as a star. Even if they were gifted in a sport, they still had to start at the beginning and learn the rules of the game.
The same thing holds true for your job search. There are rules to the process. From how to craft your resume with the best keywords to submit online to what steps you can take to ensure interview success, we all need to learn what’s acceptable and how to play the game.
2) Be Willing To Put In The Behind-The-Scenes Work
Watching the athletes perform, it all looks so effortless. What we don’t see are the hours, days and months of preparation that athlete has gone through to get there – not to mention the sacrifice/support of family and friends.
As a job seeker, you also need to be prepared to put into substantial effort to get that new job. It may take awhile, and it’s not always easy. A job you enjoy however is worth it’s weight in gold.
The good news is that – according to the most recent Society for Human Resource Management’s Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report (April ’16) – “Employees may now be in a better position and feel more confident in exploring employment opportunities, as indicated by their motives to leave an organization and the declining importance of job security over the last couple of years.”
3) Practice Makes Perfect
There are many stories out there about the intensive training plans of Olympic athletes. Getting up at 4 am and numerous workouts per day, along with a strict nutrition plan, are commonplace. It takes a lot to become the best. Excuses and procrastination are not an option. Take 19 year old competitive swimmer Katie Ledecky for example. “Her normal weekly schedule included six days of swim practice and three days of dry land workouts. This schedule is based on a first practice at 5 a.m. and waking up at 4:05 a.m. “She has had to wake us up a couple times, but we’ve never had to wake her up,” her father Dave said.”
If just reading about her intensive routine tires you out, not to worry! Your schedule doesn’t have to be as strict, but establishing a routine is key. Creating a job search schedule for yourself and STICKING TO IT, is step one. Take the job search process seriously. This is not the time to leave things to chance. Even if you’re not working, dress as if you were! Plan your day with purpose. 7 am – wake up, 8-9, work out, 10 -12, research potential employers, submit resumes, post on LinkedIn, 12- lunch, 12:30-5 – attend networking event, update cover letter, etc…
4) Enjoy the Journey
The athletes are not all work and no play. You need to schedule in time to relax and rejuvenate. Part of this time should include exercise and eating a nutritious diet. The calmer and more healthier you feel, the more energy (mental and physical) and confidence you’ll have to focus on your search!
5) Relish the rewards
One can only imagine the pride and joy the athletes feel when they win a medal. Your medal is the interview you get, and, ulitmately, the job you land. It’s no small victory to find a postion these days. Revel in your success. You did it – you’re a star!
6) Plan for the post games
Athletes need to have a plan for when the games are over. Once you land the job, your next plan is to start your new job off right. You also want to continue to keep up with the networking contacts you made along the way. The job search journey never really ends. Keep your eye on the prize!
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