Find a Job You Love: what we can learn from athletes
Searching for your next career opportunity requires mental fortitude and a positive attitude to get you through, what can sometimes be, a tough road ahead. The trials and tribulations of filling out applications, altering your CV, telephone calls and finally face-to-face interviews, only to be rejected, can be difficult even for the strongest of people. If you mentally prepare yourself for the challenge ahead by having the right mindset, it will help you get through the process with a feeling of fulfilment and ultimately the job you deserve.
The analogy often used for job searches is to compare it to athletes training for an Olympic event. Let’s take a look at the five key mindsets that athletes have and how adopting them will help you in your job search:
When you begin your job search it’s crucial that you know exactly what you want from your next career move and focus on it. Too many people cast the net wide as they search for any kind of role they think would fit their skillset.
Being focused helps athletes channel all their energy on their end goal – ultimately the gold medal. Distractions will cause them to lose focus and fall by the wayside. When you’re starting your job search you need to be clear and confident about exactly what your skills are and how they are relevant to the job you are applying for. Employers have lots of CVs to look at and if you’re not clear on how your skills fit their role you will not immediately appeal to them. This could be the difference between getting an interview and not. Also, having a longer-term goal and keeping this in focus will help when you’re searching for the right role. Understanding and taking responsibility for your career path will make you attractive to potential employers.
Athletes can only be the best when they have confidence in themselves. Self-confidence is just as important for anyone on the hunt for a new job. It will be painfully obvious to the interviewer if you're not confident in your own abilities.
It is also important to manage stress. If nerves or anxiety tend to get the better of you, try using breathing techniques to calm yourself and boost confidence. Delivering under pressure is what successful people do; whether they are running 100m or going for their dream job. Interviewers want you to do well so don’t be too intimidated! Connect with them and let some of your personality shine through.
Determination is key for any professional athlete; they don't give up, however hard things get. They have to have the mental fortitude to keep going even if everything has gone against them.
The same mindset applies in your job search; if you have been rejected or receive no reply after applying for several jobs, you have to get right back to it and try again - no matter how disheartened you may be. Remaining determined throughout the harsh times will only strengthen your character and this will inevitably pay dividends.
Being positive is an extremely important aspect for people in life in anything that they do - athletes most of all. Having a positive frame of mind will enable you to take on anything thrown your way, but it’s vital to inject some realism into that positivity.
Realistically, it’s challenging to approach everything in a positive way and trying to adopt this mentality will only set you up for a fall. Eventually, a bad situation will arise, so being realistic - but making the best out of a negative result - is how winners succeed and will help you assess your actions so you can do to be better next time.
If an Olympic athlete wasn’t persistent in their search for glory they would achieve nothing. Being persistent - even when the odds have never seemed greater - has produced some of the greatest Olympic stories.
Adopting this persistence in your job search could be the difference between landing the job of your dreams, getting a referral from someone, or receiving absolutely nothing. No one wants to be overly pushy or annoying, but a simple follow up email after an interview a few days or up to a week after can yield positive results. Hiring Managers and recruiters are incredibly busy people, but with some gentle and pleasant prompting, they will get back to you.
Secrets to Success
So while you may not be on course for an Olympic gold medal, adopting a winning mindset in your search for a new job will produce the result you are looking for. Discover a new role today.