A Lesson in Motivation from our Olympic Athletes

Posted by Amanda Augustine

July 31, 2012 @ 02:42 PM

US Olympic athletes, swimmer Ryan Lochte and gymnast Jordan Wieber, both had some not-so-great performances over the last couple days.dive resized 600

Lochte didn't medal in the 200-meter freestyle, and Wieber, who was the defending world all-around gymnastics champion, didn't make it into the finals as an individual.

But for both of these athletes, the Olympics aren't over yet. Ryan has more races today. Jordan will compete in the women's team competition.

There's a good lesson in here for all you job seekers out there.

You're going to have an "off" day. You're going to send out an application and realize you referenced the wrong company in the cover letter. Or you'll think you left plenty of time to get to an interview, and the rush hour traffic will interfere and make you late.

But in either of these situations, you have to shake off the bad performance and look towards the next event. That's what great athletes do. And as a job seeker, that’s what you need to do.

There are other applications to be sent. And you still have to pull it together and wow the interviewer. You can't let one mistake shake your resolve. In the world of job seeking, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

You’re looking for the right job that will ultimately help lead you down the path towards your ideal career. There will be tons (ok, maybe not tons, but lots and lots) of job applications, networking events, interviews ... hey, there will probably be a few actual jobs added to your work history during your pursuit for the dream job.

So shake off your bad performance. Take a deep breath. Go grab a cup of iced coffee. Or take a 20-minute break and watch the Olympics. Or do some crazy yoga poses. Or break out the drum set for a quick instrumental solo. Whatever you need to do to (safely and healthily) blow off some steam.

Then come back to your computer and get back to work. No one said searching for a job would be fun (in fact, I’ll be the first to say it isn’t fun). It’s a job. And it requires steady, consistent activity from you each and every week. Just like an athlete in training.

But it will all be worth it when you start that new job – keep that end goal in mind!

Amanda AugustineAmanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.