Get VIP invites to recruiting events with popular employers! Sign up here.

MBA Corner
First Time on Brazen?

Spice Up Your Inbox!

Get invites to exclusive career events, networking opportunities and top career advice.



6 Reasons Your Job Search is Like Training for a Marathon

Pin It  

Runner training for marathon

Jumpstart your job search with our online How to Get a Job bootcamp. Find out what you’re doing wrong on your job search and how to fix it. Learn how to get the job you want!

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.

4. Find support

You know that “network” everyone is always talking about finding and nurturing? Now is the time to lean on them. In terms of the job search, your network (both in real life and online) can help you perfect your resume, introduce you to others in your field, offer advice and sometimes even help you land a job.

Your network can also give you the motivation and inspiration you need to keep moving forward – literally. My running network on the website DailyMile keeps me accountable and constantly pushes me to keep reaching my goals.

5. Celebrate mini-wins

While the feeling of achieving a goal is certainly sweet, it’s also important to recognize mini-wins along the way. Throughout my training, every new personal distance record I achieved felt like a reason to celebrate; five miles, six miles, seven miles! Of course, they weren’t the full 10 miles I’m striving for, but each run was a step in the right direction.

While you’re job searching, pat yourself on the back for those mini-wins. Whether it’s hearing back from a potential employer or being invited back for a second interview, every step of the journey deserves its own recognition.

6. Relish in accomplishment – and then create an even bigger goal

Once you cross that finish line or receive that job offer, it’s rightfully your time to celebrate. After all, you did just accomplish the unthinkable!

But then it’s time to set your sights on something bigger, professionally or personally. For me, that something bigger is the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November.

What’s your “something bigger?”

Jessica Lawlor is a public relations professional and freelance writer in the Philadelphia area. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peggy.mckee Peggy McKee

    Here’s a video that I put together on the “best way to find a job”….
    http://careerconfidential.com/the-best-way-to-find-a-job/

  • http://www.rogaine-spuma.ro/ Andrew

    during this period must be consistent and be prepared and most important not to give up

  • Kish

    I’ve been a job seeker myself, and i found out that having a plan, and being prepared for an interview is the best weapon in searching and applying for a job.

  • http://www.wwuniversity.eu/ wwuni

    what a metaphor… what i like most here is the sixth point

  • http://www.itplanet20.com/ Cheap web hosting

    getting job and then maintain to get hing position is like race do treat it as a marathon :)