4 Lessons You Should Take from The Olympics to Job Search

By Jeff Altman

The Olympics arrive every four years and the world focuses as amateur athletes compete for medals and the honor that comes with being a medal winner.

These are currently the best athletes the world has to offer in their individual events so it affords us an opportunity to look at their journey and see if there is anything to apply to job hunting.

1. Talent only goes so far

There are many talented athletes but few become Olympians. Talent doesn’t teach you how to run or swim faster or pole vault higher. It is the starting place not the finish line.

2. They have a support system and they take direction

Great athletes have had people around them to teach them and guide them. They have family who have helped, teachers, coaches and friends who have guided them on the path from being talented to learning how to channel talent into greatness.

Who helps you? Who do you receive coaching and/or mentoring from?

3. They work harder than others to refine their talent.

Being an Olympic athlete doesn’t mean you show up every four years and outswim or out run your opponent. They practice long hours for those few seconds (or hours if you are a marathoner).

What are you practicing? Do you practice how to interview or do you just show up and “wing it?” Do you attempt to do a great job and expect that is why you will be hired by your next firm or do you catalog your achievements and put yourself in the position to be found? Do you learn what you don’t know about job hunting or are you content to just show up?

4. They have the drive to win.

If you never saw “Rocky III,” the term, “eye of the tiger” won’t mean anything to you. The chorus to the song is:

“It’s the eye of the tiger

It’s the thrill of the fight

Risin’ up to the challenge

Of our rival

And the last known survivor

Stalks his prey in the night

And he’s watching us all with the

Eye of the tiger.”


Do you have anything like that? Will you let anything stop you?

Olympians are fabulous to watch. Which of the qualities these men and women have do you need to improve upon in order to be a champion?


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2012, 2017,  2021 



JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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