Whether you realise it or not, but there are two commonalities when it comes to looking for a job and taking part in competitive sports. Firstly, there is only ONE person who at the end will land the job or win the competitive race. Remember ABBA’s song “The winner takes it all”? Secondly, you need to have a certain set of skills, experiences, the right attitude and be mentally fit (and, also physically fit in sports).
I gained my fair share of experience in applying for different jobs in different countries, and I was also a very active sports person in the past (participating in various winter and summer sports). This makes it easy for me to see what character traits are required for both activities and what would help to strengthen your employee branding.
Keep a flexible approach:
If your job interview or job offer rejection letters are flooding in, you realise that something needs to be changed in your strategy to achieve your desired result. A career guidance counsellor would suggest to you to stay flexible and take a new approach in landing the job you want so badly. Going for some career counselling for experienced professionals would be a good idea, since you will find out what the reason for your failures are.
If in your sports competitions, you consistently end up on the (unlucky) 2nd or 4th position, you need to have a closer look at the possible reasons for missing out on a victory. Would a change of diet, a change of training method, a change of coach or a change of other circumstances make a difference? Find out!
Your persistence is key
How many people do you really know that applied for a job the first time and got it offered to them? Real life unfortunately tells us another story. If you approach a career guidance counsellor you will hear that some job candidates apply to hundreds of jobs with no success.
Needless to say, you need to have a high level of perseverance and persistence in achieving your goal to get the job. Not everyone is able to cope with an endless case of rejections. Getting easily and quickly demotivated by them is not unusual, which can happen before or after the job interview stage. Thus, staying positive at all time is something you need to learn, no matter how tough it’s going to be. It will not just help you in your career, but generally in life.
In sports, it’s similar, depending on what type of sport you are competing in, you need to be persistent and never give up. A competition is over only once it’s really finished. If you give up already half way through, you make it easy for other participants to win. Why would you want to do that? Have you forgotten how many hours of exercise you invested so far? You need to visualise your success and believe in yourself that not everything is lost and there is still hope to win.
It’s all about persistence, persistence, persistence!
Learn from others.
Use every opportunity to learn from others, be it as a job candidate or a sports competitor. Is there anything that can help you to land the job or win the race in a quicker, better, easier, more effective way? Try to find out what other people’s key to success is. You never know, you might get some inspiration which leads to positive results for you, too.
Be honest, or it will backfire!
Think of your achievements: How do you want to feel about them? PROUD because you worked hard for it, or like a CHEATER who used manipulative methods to achieve your goal? In the past, you might have come across some cases in which sports professionals have used performance-enhancing substances to end up as winners in their sports discipline. You might have also heard of people who paid bribes to land a job, or who inflated their CVs by telling lies about their educational background, experiences, etc.
Remember Lance Armstrong’s case? What consequences did doping have on his career and life? The loss of his record seven Tour de France titles, a ban for life by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, a damaged reputation, loss of credibility and sponsors and a huge fine to pay.
Then there was also the case of Liv Loberg, a top Norwegian bureaucrat. She held top administrative jobs in the health care industry and other public sectors and was also a former politician for the Progress Party in Norway. She lied about having two degrees (from the London School of Economics, Queen Mary College and Norges Handelshoyskole) and being a registered nurse. A journalist revealed in 2010, that she did not have the degrees she claimed she did, and wasn’t even a registered nurse. The truth was that she dropped out of high school and had just one year of practical nurse education. She got a 14 months’ prison sentence and a fine of 1 million NOK.
Do you still think it’s worthwhile to take a risk? Every career guidance counsellor will advise you to stick to the truth and not be tempted to falsify your career history in any way. No matter how desperate you are for a job, do NOT lie, it will have a negative impact on your employee branding.