Reaching for the GOLD in your career, Olympic Style


Reach for the GOLD

Credit to Trish Freshwater and Sodexo Jobs

As a child, I remember watching the summer Olympic Games on TV, mesmerized by the perfection I saw in gymnastics routines and awed by high diving acrobats slicing their way through the air and into the pool below. And, the racing speed of swimmers and runners left me breathless as they each pushed the limits of their bodies to move faster than ever, completely spent at the end of the racing day. But the years of hard work and dedication to reach this pinnacle was not lost on my young mind, as I cheered for our country’s participants and celebrated all who achieved the gold, silver or bronze.

Today, I share this Olympic spirit with my own children who are equally enamored with the Games. In fact, plans are in motion to rearrange the living room furniture so that we can all get a direct view of the television to watch the Parade of Nations on opening night and cheer and support all of the athletes who are about to give everything they’ve got to show the world their personal best.

In fact, conversations about our “personal best” are abundant in our home as my children’s young minds are trying to form the foundations for their future. They dream of becoming leaders in law enforcement and education, maybe even animal rescue or medicine. The jury is still out. And that’s okay, because they have plenty of time to decide. But what they are learning today – and what the Olympics embody – is how putting forth your personal best leads to your success.

Determination. Focus. Resilience. Not only do these qualities build a foundation for Olympians with careers focused on physical agility, strength and speed, they are also the building blocks for nearly any professional career. In today’s job market, candidates are competing by the hundreds for nearly each open position. Without putting forth their personal best, their dreams can be dashed by others who secure the gold by giving it their all.

As you reach for the gold in your career, what skills or experience will propel you ahead of the competition? Have you built your team with reputable coaches (mentors) who can help guide your career? Will it be your soft skills or technical ability that will grab an Olympic official’s (recruiter’s) attention? Have you overcome challenges along the way that might illustrate your determination and resilience? Have you put in the time building a list of admirable accomplishments to qualify you for the competition (interview)? (And did you include these accomplishments on yourresume?)

Not everyone is destined to become an Olympic athlete. But, we all can be Olympians in our careers by exerting our personal best in everything we do. Whether it’s taking a stretch assignment to expand our experience, engaging in a mentoring relationship to learn from others or even dedicating time to professional development courses and webinars to expand our knowledge, grasping hold of the Olympian spirit and its dedication to exhibiting personal bests will grow your career as far as you’re willing to push your limits.

After all, your personal Career Olympics comes down to a race against your personal best. How will you reach for the gold? 

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