Over the last week our team has been enthusiastically cheering on our fellow country men and women as they compete in the Olympics. We are in awe of not only the Olympians’ physical abilities, but also their unwavering commitment to their sport. As a team, we have been reflecting on the athletes’ performance and have drawn several important lessons that can also apply to job seekers:
1. Don’t give up
Job seeking can sometimes be an exhausting and deflating process. If you’re currently employed it may be tempting to throw in the towel and remain discontented in your current role. Our Olympians have taught us not to give up – if you’ve had a bad interview, received a rejection letter or didn’t hear back from your dream employer, dust yourself off and move on to the next opportunity.
2. Find your passion
There is a reason that Olympians get up at the crack of dawn and train nearly 365 days a year – they are passionate. Their love for their chosen sport drives them to push themselves and put in the hours that they need to. Seek out job opportunities that align with your personal passions, interests and values. You will be more satisfied in your job, work harder and have more fun as a result.
3. Set goals
As a job seeker, your ultimate goal is the attainment of an ideal role. That said, there are several milestones that need to happen in order for you to secure the position. Just like Olympians break down their end goal into a series of incremental targets, so should you as a job seeker. It will keep you focused and provide you with a sense of accomplishment as you tick them off. For example – aim to complete your resume within 7 days, apply for a minimum of 2 new jobs per week and contact a recruitment agency.
4. Take pride in what you do
Olympians are immensely proud of their sport and their country, and it shows in the way they present themselves and behave during competitions. As a job seeker, we encourage you to also take pride in yourself – dress well, triple check application letters and resumes, and arrive prepared for interviews.
5. Find a coach or mentor
If you’ve ever seen an interview with an Olympian, they always make mention of their coach and the huge contribution they have made to their success. During your job search process it may be helpful for you to seek out a coach or a mentor; someone to cheer you on, proof your applications and to de-brief with after interviews.
6. You’re not always going to win (and that’s ok)
When an athlete heads to the Olympics they know that they are going up against the best in the world, they have to get through several heats in order to make a final and in the end there are only 3 medals up for grabs. Because of this, there is a good chance that they are not going to be on the winners’ podium. But that doesn’t change their approach – they still give it their all and are grateful for the opportunity to try. Apply this same ethos to your job search process. Give every application process 110% and be appreciative when a potential employer considers you for their role (even if you don’t land the job).
7. Learn from every attempt
Olympians always speak to what they could have done better, they are constantly striving to turn the dial and improve their results. As a job seeker, you can do the same. After each phone screen, in-person interview, candidate project and so on, take a moment to reflect on what you did well and what you could have improved. Even slight changes to your strategy can have a significant impact on the outcome.
8. Be confident
If you believe in yourself, you will approach every challenge with a positive attitude and this will shine through in everything you do (a trait that employers love). Olympians would not be where they are today if they did not have a belief in their ability and hesitated when faced with new obstacles. Apply this same confidence to your job search process; stay committed and know that you will find the right fit.
Despite all of the pressure and stress, Olympians still smile throughout it all and so should you. Smile when talking to a hiring manager on the phone, smile when greeting the receptionist at a potential employer and of course, smile throughout your interview. Smiling will help you calm your nerves and let your personality come through.
10. Hard work is rewarded
When all is said and done, it is those Olympians that worked hard, put in countless training hours, welcomed feedback from their coaches, learned from every attempt, set themselves goals, believed in themselves and everything in-between that win. Success is not handed to them on a silver platter, it is earned. The same applies for your job search process – the work you put in today will be returned to you in the form of a great role. So, go get after it!