Job Seeking like an Olympic Athlete!

July 30th, 2012 | Articles, Job Search | 1 Comment »

Olympic athletes are working hard to earn medals in London during the 2012 Olympics and you can apply their approach to your job search. Go for the gold!

The Olympic Flame has been lit, the London Stadium has resounded with the cheers of innumerable spectators, and the 2012 Olympics are off to a running start. Athletes from around the world have invested time into rigorous training and are finally ready to compete for that coveted gold. Thousands of competitors will gather in London for a shot at that top position on the podium.

To many job seekers, this tough competition is all too familiar. In this aggressive job market, open positions pit hundreds of candidates against each other with only one who can secure the golden position. So, take some tips from Olympic athletes and reach for your goal.

Training: The road to glory begins with serious training. Athletes strengthen and tone to guarantee a shot during qualifying trials. They practice their technique over and over again, focusing on minute movements and turning the best strategies to second nature. The successful job seeker has a similar foundation. You need to practice your skills, pursue new certifications, & learn the intricacies of the interview process. Every nuanced addition to your job seeking training can bring you closer to a new job.

Discipline: Those Olympiads capable of victory, those willing to eat, sleep, & breathe their sport, are willing to discipline themselves to do what needs to be done. For a prospective Olympic athlete, it requires repetition 3 times a day, 6 days a week for the better part of 4 to 8 years. This is not a casual endeavor but dedication in its purest form. Daily work is essential. If you are unemployed, treat the job search like a job. If employed, dedicate time each day to obtain your next job. Sporadic applications will elicit far fewer results and keep your resume writing skills rusty.

Proper relaxation: After the workout routine, athletes allow their bodies to get proper rest. Sometimes sleeping 10 hours with naps throughout the day, this resting period regrows muscle tissue into leaner, more powerful locomotion machines. When searching for a job, it can be beneficial to take a short break. If you are overexerting yourself, there are chances you can become burnt out and subsequently torch your drive to apply. The occasional break to read, socialize, or exercise can help you to return to your search refreshed and ready to go.

Background research: Any seasoned athlete knows his or her sport backwards and forwards. Knowledge of the rules and awareness of technicalities can make the difference between a perfect score & disqualification. There are even government agencies dedicated to gathering Intel for their Olympic. So, background knowledge & research are a big deal. The same can be said during the job search. According to a Career Geek survey, 47% of interviewees made fatal mistakes by entering the interview with little or no knowledge of the company. To win the day, do the prerequisite research on the company, the position, the culture, and any other iota of information that can impress the hiring manager.

Learn from your weaknesses: The greatest Olympiads can turn the mirror upon their own failings. They review tapes of their performances and winning performances, looking for the misstep in their technique and what allowed someone else to succeed. When you review your own weaknesses, it is often best to enlist the help of a professional. Athletes have coaches & trainers; you have professional resume writers, career counselors, and recruiters for your slice of insight. As you leave an interview, you can even ask a hiring manager about your performance. If willing, they can provide you with insight into your verbal and nonverbal mistakes. It can be an enlightening experience.

You won’t always win: In the end, there will be those competitors who walk away with gold, silver, & bronze medals for their country and those who don’t. You won’t win every time. There are only 302 medal events and 14,000 athletes competing. Sometimes, you can do your best and still lose out to someone more qualified. It happens. So, if you don’t snag that dream job, don’t be discouraged. There are lessons to walk away from after any loss and new chances looming just down the road. Olympic athletes always have 2016 to look forward to and you have that next interview to prove yourself.

James Walsh

One Response to “Job Seeking like an Olympic Athlete!”

  1. Chris Kulbaba says:

    This is a fantastic article in the sense that it related job seeking to a competition. It is a demanding exercise, and further the process of visualizing the goal to achieve makes a difference. If you can believe, you can achieve.

    Most importantly, you will NOT always win. There are definitions of success, and sometimes jsut being able to compete is the victory.