What does job hunting and Olympic sports have in common? At first blush, what the heck are you talking about, Jack?
Well, in essence, any athlete that wants to compete at that level must understand that, as a minimum, the following will be involved:
- Rigorous Training
- Significant Financial Investment
By the way, people always underestimate that last part. There are enormous cost involved with training an Olympic hopeful.
Surrounding those three components is the support team. A support team that includes a skill coach (coaches figure skating for example), a strength/training coach perhaps, committed parents, supportive siblings and friends, community sponsorship and support, and all the necessary tools and equipment to train properly.
So, let us look at finding a job. What are some of the key components?
- Rigorous research and analysis. Don’t you go into an interview without turning that potential employer inside out first.
- Research, networking, studying, analyzing takes a lot of time. Until you are hired, it is your full time job!
- It’s going to cost you. A lot, a little, all depends on how savvy you are.
Surrounding those three components is your support team. You need a mentor. You need a critic who can evaluate you and your efforts and give you some honest feedback. You need a committed and supportive family. You need a network of people with your best interest at heart. You need tools.
Some pretty good similarities here. When my niece goes out on that skating ring and performs her routine, it’s not her – really. Okay, it is her. It’s her talent, her hard work, her perseverance, her training showcased in her performance. And it’s all made possible by her support team of coaches, trainers, and family.
When you are sitting in that interview, it’s all you, you will make it or not. But what got you there was your support team. And the stronger your support team , the more magnificent your performance will be and the job you desire becomes yours.
So, let’s look at your support team. Take some time to put on paper who everyone is. If after some thought and some annotation, you end up looking at a blank piece of paper, you have your work cut out for you. Who’s your mentor? Who’s going to give you honest feedback? Who’s there that you can lean when you’ve been rejected for the 18th time. Is your resume tight? Do you need the service of David Perry’s Guerilla Resume? Are you a part of Toastmasters? How deep is your network?
Don’t do this by yourself. The job market is brutal and it is competitive like it has never been before. You must have a solid, support team who can carry you.
If you have not done so, think of yourself as an Olympian. Identify your support team. Don’t have a mentor. Who do you look up? Who do you respect? Who has the experience and skills you most want to emulate? Go ask that person to be your mentor. Good people love to mentor.
Got a friend who knows you so well, he or she’s your alter ego. One who has no problems being honest with you. Because you respect and honor his or her opinion, petty emotions like hurt feelings are irrelevant. What an asset. Time to seek out the advice.
And continue until you have your support team. As for the network, go to your alumni, check hobby groups, etc. Search network in the search cloud on lower right side of the website. It’ll lead you to couple of good blogs on networking.
So, that’s what job hunting and Olympic sports have in common.