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Going for the Gold in Your Job Search
August 2012

Watching the Olympics is always inspiring, especially hearing the stories of athletes from places near and far. Many of the athletes spent years training in order to perform on the world stage. Job seekers have a lot to learn from Olympic athletes when it comes to preparation, practice and dedication.

Many of the actual events during the Olympics are very anti-climatic in comparison to the thousands of hours each individual athlete or team has put in to prepare for the competition. Your job search is a lot like Olympic competition, as it's not how well you performed in your final interview that counts, it's all the networking, communications, conversations, hard work and energy that you put into your job search overall.

Are you doing what is necessary to have an Olympic job search? Are you putting in the proper amount of time and energy for your job search to pay off? Do you set dedicated time for your job search activities and make them a priority in your life?

Do you have the right "team" to support you and encourage you as you compete in the job market? Being surrounded by a supportive team can be beneficial in a number of ways including:

  • You are motivated to be a success in order to make the team proud
  • It lifts you up when you are discouraged
  • The team will be your cheering section
  • The team can introduce you to new "coaches" or "trainers" that can help you win the gold (or a new job)
  • You'll be inspired to go the extra distance
  • The team can provide feedback and ways to improve your performance

Think of some of the co-workers, friends, family members, college friends or others in your life that have encouraged you to be the best "you" possible. A job search is a challenging adventure, and having a support system standing by your side will make all the difference. Share your résumé with a friend. Ask your significant other to role-play behavioral interview questions before your big interview. See if your next-door neighbor has a connection and can introduce you to the head of a department at a company on your target list.

Don't forget to be a teammate to people in your life as well. Keep your eyes and ears open for job opportunities that might be a fit for your friends/family. If you are at an event and you run into someone who would be a good networking connection for someone you know, make the introduction.

Create your own career Olympics – either in your current job, or in your future job search – so you can become the very best version of you. Come up with a game plan that will enable you to bring home a gold medal or a new job opportunity that you love.