Job hunt with an Olympian’s mindset
In light of the London 2012 Olympics, I saw fit to write a blog using the Olympic mindset for inspiration. You can draw many parallels between what motivates an athlete and what should motivate people in their job search.
‘Career-driven’ is a term commonly used to describe a person dedicated to getting and retaining their desired job role and, likewise, someone training for the Olympics inhibits a similar drive. But, what are the key attributes that puts someone ahead of their game; both on the track and in the workplace?
Firstly, it is determination. You have to be 100% focussed on the goal you have set yourself. This goes for when an athlete decides to aim for gold and achieve their dream of winning. It also goes for when a person sets their sights on a career objective. You have to have determination of steel to strive to realise the true substance of your stamina.
If you are looking for a new job opportunity then determination is what will keep you going – even when the going gets tough. The jobs market is fiercely competitive; one consequence of the economic downturn. This is why it takes a belly full of fire and rock steady determination to succeed.
Secondly, it is dedication to the cause. For the Olympic athlete that ‘cause’ is winning gold for Queen and country. For job-seekers, it is securing the role that will give you most satisfaction, balanced with financial buoyancy. Job ‘hunt’ says it all. It there is no real guarantee when applying for roles, so dedication in large doses is required if you are to bounce back from disappointment.
What about the time you need to dedicate? The saying ‘looking for a job is a job in itself’ serves to demonstrate the level of commitment required to give your all to finding a job. Similarly, an athlete will wake up every day, come rain or shine, to put in the hours of training it takes to be the best.
Coming in at number three is, motivation. And if someone can stand there and say they’ve never lacked in this department, I’d have the good nous to say that they were lying. Everybody struggles at some point or another to muster up the motivation to go that extra mile. The fact is, we don’t always trust in our abilities. We get the fear and falter, losing momentum and self motivation. When this happens winners say ‘no’ and fight to come back stronger, whereas, losers succumb to it and crumble.
This is the same for when you are, what feels like endlessly, searching for a job. It is the same when you are pushing yourself to the max for the opportunity to climb up the ladder, or change careers completely. And, the same applies to an athlete who wants, more than anything, to be recognised for a sporting achievement.
Self motivation is the core power inside of you to beat down any doubt and quash feelings of failure. Motivate yourself to keep pushing out your CV, even in when it seems hopelessly futile. Motivate yourself to go to interviews at every opportunity and give it your all. Motivate yourself to take a job offer, which wasn’t what you wanted, in order to keep the cash-flow going. It will pay off in the long run.
Last, but in no ways least, believe in yourself. Right from the bottom of your heart know that you can, and will, get to the finish line in heroic style. Picture yourself receiving confirmation of having got the job you really wanted. Imagine the feeling of being selected to fill a higher ranking position in the company, or reaching a prolific target. Believe it to achieve it.
You often hear athletes talking about the deep-rooted belief you have to have in yourself; that extra something you pull out the bag when there’s nothing left. For people looking for work the same self belief must apply. Know that you are good enough and don’t let it get you down when you’re unsuccessful. Your time will come, but only if you keep limbering up and putting yourself in the race.