I was on my way to a fantasy football championship. My draft was a thing of strategic beauty, with each position filled with star power from quarterback to tight end. After the first few weeks of blow out victories, I felt like my team was unstoppable.

Then, tragedy struck.

First, a slew of injuries took some of my best players out of the game, revealing a lack of depth in my lineup. Then, carelessness on my part caused me to miss out on opportunities for top tier replacement players on the waiver wire. Before I knew it, I dropped from first to last quicker than you can cut a kicker.  

While stories of fantasy football failure are nothing new, the whole experience did have me feeling a weird sense of déjà vu; it reminded me of another activity that requires an equal amount of research, builds to the same emotional impact and where fortunes can also change in a matter of moments – finding a job. 

While the stakes in fantasy football and the job search might be totally different, there are underlying lessons that can help both fantasy owners and job seekers end the their seasons with success. Here are three lessons fantasy football can teach us about finding a job:

Situations Change Quickly

Unfortunately for my team, “Clash of the Tight Ends,” when reality hit, it hit hard. After my top quarterback and running back were both hurt by unexpected injuries, I wasn’t prepared to keep moving forward with replacement options. By the time I realized what I needed to win my league’s ridiculous trophy, it was already too late.

Similarly, if you’re putting all of your eggs in one basket when looking for a new job, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. Just like you can’t always count on your number one pick in the draft to get you thirty points every single week, the first job you apply to might not always be your best fit. That’s why it’s important to cast a wide net when applying to jobs in your field of expertise! If one opportunity doesn’t pan out, at least you’ll still have options to consider.

On the other side of the coin, the dream job that you’ve been eyeing at your favorite company might not be available right now, but situations can change quickly. Just like that amazing back-up running back you’ve been keeping an eye on might just become a number one starter one day, a new job opportunity might become available at any time. Always keep your eyes peeled for the latest opportunities, and consider setting alerts for news about your top company targets.

The Little Things Matter

The best victories and worst losses in fantasy football always seem to come down to the final few points. While your team’s star athletes might account for 90 percent of your points in any given week, it’s those last minute scores by your kicker or defense that often put you over the top.

When you’re searching for a job, the experience laid out in your resume or that perfectly filled-out application might get you most of the way there, but it’ll be the little things that land you your next opportunity. Small touches, like dressing your best and hand-writing thank you letters, can help you stand out in the mind of your interviewers. The next time you catch yourself thinking that going the extra mile in a job interview won’t make that much of a difference, remember the last time your lowly kicker led your fantasy team to an unexpected victory!

There’s Always Next Week

While some people may take fantasy football a little too seriously (some people like me), it’s important to remember that it’s only a game, and with each new week brings new opportunities! Just because you lost this week doesn’t mean that you won’t put together a team of unlikely all stars to steal another win soon enough.

However, your career is not a game. When disappointment follows a job interview, it hurts even more than losing in the playoffs, and the consequences can be much more unsettling. That’s why staying positive during a job search is extremely important. Losses are just part of the process! Take time to reflect after each stumble, rethink your strategy and take on each fresh  opportunity like it’s the start of a new season.

Just like fantasy football, finding a job requires meticulous research, a willingness to adapt and a remarkable amount of patience. Whether you’re looking to claim the league trophy or land a new job, it’s important to expect the unexpected, remember the little things and learn from your losses.

Do you have any tips from fantasy football that apply to finding a job? Share your tips for job seekers in the comments below!