4 Career Lessons from the Olympics

4 Career Lessons from the Olympics

Only a handful of individuals in the world make it to the Olympics and an even smaller number actually make it to the podium itself. For that reason alone, Olympians are the ultimate role model not just for the aspiring athlete, but the average jobseeker too! Their extreme level of focus, relentless work ethic, and commitment to purpose are all qualities that can be mirrored in your quest to cultivate a successful career. To help you go for gold, consider these four Olympic-sized tips for your career.

  1. Strive for improvement
    With competition hot on their heels, Olympians are well aware of the fact that their skills must be above par at all times. They never settle for less and are constantly pushing themselves to be faster, stronger, and better than their personal best. Likewise, your career is an ongoing, constantly evolving process that doesn’t stop simply because you’ve landed a job. While it’s easy to let career goals go astray, especially if you’ve grown too comfortable in your role, it’s important to not lose sight of them completely. Take the necessary steps to make sure your career is always moving in the right direction – whether that means obtaining certifications, pursuing additional training, or even finding a new job that more closely aligns with your goals.
  2. Reputation matters
    On top of being the best of the best in their sport, Olympians must also be well-liked, respected, and trustworthy. By the same token, your skills and proficiencies count for nothing without a solid reputation to back it up. No matter where your career takes you, rest assured that your reputation will always be close behind. How you’re perceived by others may not seem significant, but it can affect how or what opportunities unfold for you in the future. Remember that it takes years to build a positive reputation, and only seconds to form a negative one.
  3. No one does it alone
    Not even the most elite athletes make it to the Olympics without the backing of a great team. Most have a vast network of coaches, trainers, and families pushing them every step of the way. If you want to achieve career gold, never let your ego get the best of you and be open to accepting help and advice from others. For instance, working with a career counselor for guidance, enlisting the help of staffing service to source new opportunities, or turning to your network of friends and colleagues for referrals are all excellent ways to forge a web of support.
  4. Never give up
    Part of what makes the Olympics so interesting is the awe-inspiring tales of athletes who persevere against all odds. Even those who don’t take home a medal are shining examples of what it means to never give up. Chances are you will (and probably already have) face setbacks and obstacles throughout your career. Even so, caving each time you fail actually does more harm than good and can bring your career to a screeching halt. Instead, use these failures as opportunities to assess your weaknesses, make improvements, and grow as both a professional and an individual.

Thinking like an Olympian can pay off big time when it comes to your career. Not only do these top athletes demonstrate extreme focus and dedication, but they know a thing or two about climbing the ladder to success. At the very least, the Olympics remind us to dream big and go for gold.


Posted on August 19, 2016



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