Four Job Hunting Lessons From the Olympics

Okay, by now we all know the Olympics opening ceremonies begin in three days in London.

There’s definitely some lessons we can learn from athletes who are committed to their sport, honing and defining their muscles, and mental strength. Here are four job hunting lessons a la the Olympics…

1. Keep your eye on the prize. Sure, it’s easy to get sidetracked when you’re searching for a job online to scour the latest headlines and play Angry Birds but in order to make strides toward your goal, you’ll need to remain commitment and focused on it. When we see promos for Olympians and then watch them in action, rest assured they have remained focused and determined.

2. Stay committed to a schedule. I recently interviewed the principal ballet dancer of The National Ballet of Canada during Luminato, their annual festival celebrating the arts each June. Anyway, talk about consistency! He talked about a regimen that included practice for several hours every day, and then rehearsal, and then of course, the recital. So, why should job searching be any different? Put yourself on a strict regimen such as scheduling three networking lunches/coffees each week, making five new LinkedIn connections, surfing online two hours daily for jobs, etc. And if you need to, set a timer while you’re online so your two hours doesn’t morph into three or four.

3. Look at your lane and your lane only. While we can only imagine what goes through swimmers’ minds as they race in the pool alongside other tremendous athletes, odds are they’re focused on their lane. Out of the corner of their eye they may see competitors inching up closer, but it seems they’re focused on what they need to do to win, not what someone else doesn’t need to do to fail. The same applies to the job search: If you hear about someone getting promoted or a new job and you start wondering why not me, it’s time to remain steadfast to numero uno: Your goals, your actions, your behaviors, attitudes and thoughts.

4. Think long-term goals with delayed gratification. If there’s anyone who has commitment written all over them, it’s Olympians. They train for years to get a fleeting shot at a medal. Surely, a job search and sticktuitiveness with pounding the pavement should be easier, yes?

Here’s the thing: As employees there are several options for us, not just one singular gold medal waiting for us four years after the grunt work, injuries, strict diets, and trainers/coaches. In fact, in comparison job searching seems much less strenuous, yes? As long as we keep our eyes on the prize and realize a tangible job is long-term but certainly not years away, we, too are destined to succeed.