What Kind of Pace Are You Trying to Set For Your Job Search?

In 1990, I ran the New York Marathon on a sunny day in November with the temperature at 78 degrees. It was my first marathon and, I suspect, it may be my last one. My late friend, Frank Boros, with whom I trained for more than a year, and I lined up toward the back of the pack of more than 20,000 runners on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Bridge.

Our goal was to finish and, on a day as warm as that, we were confident that we could finish but not sure we could accomplish our goal of under six hours.

As the cannon to start the race was fired, we really couldn’t move at all because so many people were ahead of us. As a matter of fact, we couldn’t move for ten minutes and at that point, we were barely walking.

Eventually, we started to jog and established a pace for ourselves that allowed us both to finish. I had heat exhaustion and missed a wedding I was to attend that night.

Along the way, we saw many people who, as soon as they could jog started to sprint wildly and, we could see, had not trained to run the 26 miles 385 yards of this marathon let alone run it on such a warm day. Sprinting when they should have been walking, they wasted an enormous amount of energy unnecessarily.

Job hunting is rarely a sprint. Especially, for mid and senior-level professionals, it is more like a marathon. Too often, people hear the cannon go off and the race begins and they thrash around wildly, wasting energy as the people did in my marathon and then struggle for way too long.

They are ill­prepared, have failed to train adequately, and, as a result, are forced to settle for a job that is “less than” what they could have achieved had they taken some time to prepare for a longer race.

It is not enough to have “a positive attitude” … although a positive attitude is good to have. After five or six times when you aren’t called back for second interviews, being positive in the face of conflicting information (lots of rejections) is deluding oneself. You need help!

Be honest with yourself. Do you need help?

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2011, 2017, 2020 



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 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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