Friday, May 4, 2012

6 Reasons Your Job Search is Like Training for a Marathon

By Jessica Lawlor

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As graduation season approaches and college seniors everywhere trade jeans and t-shirts for caps and gowns, the pressure to find a job is on. It’s not a good feeling; believe me, I’ve been there.

My senior year job search was two years ago, but I felt that same anxiety when I began training for the Broad Street Run, a 10-mile race down Philadelphia’s iconic Broad Street in January. The task felt completely daunting.

Yet when you’re training for a long-distance race – whether it’s a 10-miler or a marathon – all the time, effort, sweat and tears eventually lead to successs. And that applies to the search for your dream job, too.
After training for the past four months (and completing my own marathon job search), I came up with six lessons that apply to finding a job out of college:

1. Have a plan

Just like you wouldn’t wake up one day and decide to run 10 miles, it would be foolish to begin a job search or go on an interview without doing the proper research and prep-work. By now, you should likely have your resume in order and a portfolio of your work ready to go for your next interview opportunity – so you’re prepared when it arises.
Consider creating an Excel spreadsheet or Google Doc to keep track of the status of job applications, contacts and interviews.

2. Be flexible and adapt quickly when that plan inevitably changes

Contrary to point number one, this is life, and it doesn’t always go our way. Imagine my Type-A horror when I woke up one Sunday morning, ready for my long run of the week, only to find it pouring outside. My neat, perfect Excel sheet, mapping out the next 12 weeks of training was seemingly ruined.
But I took a deep breath, and adapted. During the job search, too, attitude is everything, and the ability to roll with the punches will serve you well.

3. Embrace the highs and lows

Understand that there will be good days and there will be (very) bad days. Despite sticking to a rigorous training schedule, not every run is perfect; in fact, some feel downright impossible.
During the job search, there will be moments when you feel like you’re on Cloud 9, and there will be moments of disappointment and loss. Embrace both those feelings; the highs will get you through the lows, and the lows will teach you more about yourself and what you want in a job to get you to that next high.

Reasons 4 - 6 and complete BrazenLife article

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