By Mary Ann Faremouth,
The Summer Olympics are scheduled to begin in Tokyo, Japan, on July 23, 2021, after an unprecedented year-long delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will, without a doubt, create much excitement for the athletes, as well as the fans cheering them on.
Every four years, the world watches as the Summer Olympics provide the best athletes in the world an international platform to showcase their talents. Watching our fellow Americans achieve their Olympic dreams is so inspiring, it’s easy to forget how much hard work and preparation go into the medal-winning moments. What if, in our New Work World, we decided to take on the attitude of an Olympic contender going for the gold? What would the preparation to achieve our own highest medal of success look like as we pursued our career goals? In the spirit of the Summer Olympics, let’s dive into what it takes to prepare for a job search or expand a current career like an Olympian.
- Create a Mindset of Success
Each Olympian begins their journey for the gold with a mindset of success: the belief that they can achieve whatever they set their mind to. Similarly, your preparations for your job search must also begin with a mindset of success. With it, you can turn a “no” from a rejection letter into a “know”: the knowledge that there will be a better job for you available on your career journey. Overcoming feelings of defeat and insecurity is crucial to landing the right job during these uncertain times.
- Assess Your Online Presence
For an Olympian, presentation is as important as performance, both in their sport and without. In all things, they must present themselves in a positive manner. Likewise, it is crucial that your online presence is flawless as you dive into the New Work World. Have you updated your LinkedIn profile and cleaned up your social media, removing pictures from Facebook or Twitter that could possibly offend a prospective employer? Have you made sure the lighting, microphone, and background you use for online interviews are of the highest standards? Doing a practice run with a friend or relative before an interview with a prospective employer is a good idea in these competitive times.
- Handle Your Job Search like a Full-Time Job
In order to go above and beyond in their performance endeavors, Olympians must sacrifice personal time for practice and preparations. In these competitive times, you too must spend significant time actively searching for a job if you wish to claim the right one for you. You have to make looking for a job a full-time job. It’s not enough to just send out a few resumes per week, make a few calls, and expect the offers to roll in. You need to make a daily and weekly plan for what you want to accomplish. In addition, reach out to career coaches for support and advice and investigate joining online forums in groups that advertise positions you might wish to pursue.
- “The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important” (Bobby Knight, head coach, 1984 USA men’s national basketball team).
If you read any gold-medal Olympian’s story, you will often find that their daily preparation is extensive and goes above and beyond what others would ever consider doing. The same holds true for your job search, as preparation is crucial in the New Work World. I have often had candidates with little related experience beat out candidates with directly related experience because they took the time to prepare for interviews. Such strong presentation during interviews has impressed human resource managers, often resulting in offers of employment.
- The Resume
To even qualify for the Olympics, an athlete must ensure their identity is flawless. Similarly, an updated, professionally made resume is more critical than ever in this New Work World. Typos and missing or inconsistent information, such as time gaps or overlapping dates, may result in an interview being cut short. Your resume is your calling card. To make sure it represents you in the best light, spend the time to make it right or invest in getting it done professionally.
Networking has always been a key to success in many arenas. For Olympians, this might take the form of specific trainers, agents, and scouts who can help them increase their skill and visibility and, therefore, their chances of becoming an Olympian and winning a gold medal. In the New Work World, you are more likely to land a new opportunity through someone in your network than through any online endeavors. Let your contacts know you are on the job hunt. Don’t be afraid to ask for introductions and referrals. Many groups are beginning to open up in-person breakfast and lunch events, so reach out to people who might be able to get you invited. You could make valuable connections that could land you interviews.
“The hard days are the best because that’s where champions are made” (Gabby Douglas, USA women’s gymnastics gold medalist). With strong preparation and a positive mindset, you are bound to succeed. When someone tells you “no,” remember that they don’t know what you are really capable of. Just like the Olympians you watch and admire in the Summer Olympics, be determined to dive into your job search and know that you can go for your own gold in the New Work World.
Mary Ann Faremouth
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.