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What the Olympic Games Can Teach Us about the Job Search

From the undeniable excitement of victory, to the crushing pains of defeat, the entire range of human emotion is on display. Participants come from near and far to put on a dazzling displays of talent and skill. In the end, only the best of the best can receive top honors and take the next leap forward in their careers.

Welcome to the Olympic Games of job searching!

While job seekers might not be superhuman like Michael Phelps, the efforts needed to land a new job can certainly feel like an Olympic feat. In honor of the Olympic Games, we’re taking a look at some lessons the world’s greatest athletes can teach those of us on the job search:

Opening Ceremonies

While you might not want to run through the streets wearing a flag and yelling, “I’m looking for a job!”, sharing your interest in finding a new position is key. If you don’t clearly communicate your intentions to land a new job, trusted members of your personal network won’t be able to lend their support. By reaching out to those closest to you to let them know your situation, you could be directed to an opportunity you would have otherwise missed. Other support, such as resume advice and emotional care, can be equally helpful. Be loud, proud and hit the ground running!

Practice Makes Perfect

The millions of people watching the Olympic Games from their comfy couches only see the brief moments of glory; what they miss are the countless hours of training and careful preparation that went into making the most challenging dreams a reality. Just like a swimmer needs to take laps in order to prepare for a race, job seekers must hone their skills in order to succeed.

Mock interviews can reduce stress and prepare applicants for potential questions from employers. Thankfully, practice does not need to be a solo event. In fact, everyone could use a coach! Team up with a trusted friend who can help to keep things interesting, while giving you a much needed outside perspective on your efforts.

Sprint or Marathon?

Looking for a new job can feel like the ultimate case of, “hurry up and wait.” Stretches of days, weeks and even months can pass without hearing a peep from employers. Then, suddenly, a flood of emails and interview dates can hit without warning. In short, job seekers need to be prepared for both situations.

In the long term, searching for a job is a marathon, requiring extended focus and foreward thinking. Looking at the end goal of landing that dream job can seem like an unreachable goal when taking it all in at once. Instead, setting small goals along the way can make the task more manageable.

In the short term, job seekers must also be ready to move fast when an opportunity arises. Making sure application materials, such as a clean, professional resume, are ready to go at all times can help you to apply quickly.

Competition is Fierce

The difference between bronze and gold can be razor thin; setting yourself apart from the competition is a challenge! However, it’s important not to dismiss your competitors. Instead, do your best to learn from the peers in your field. Joining industry groups and researching relevant organizations can provide insight into the most sought after roles, and better prepare applicants for what to expect during the application and interview process.

Embrace the Challenge

No one ever said being an Olympian was easy. There are times when even the greatest champions have fallen, questioned their talents and considered throwing in the towel. When faced with adversity, it’s important to remain focused and tap into the support of the team around you.

This Olympic season, take your career to new heights! By following in the footsteps of the world’s greatest athletes, job seekers can prepare like champions and succeed at an Olympic level. Do you have any job search inspirations after watching the Olympics? Share your thoughts below!

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