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The Next Three Things You Do

OK. You just got fired. And you have been doing The First Three Things I wrote about in the prior posting the other day.

Now what? you ask.

You have to start thinking like an Olympian.

A couple years ago I was watching the Summer Olympics. During the track competition, I took note of the runners just before their races started. The TV cameras zoomed right in for the close-up shots of their faces. You could see that they were getting into the zone of high performance.

Then came the three commands we are all so familiar with: On Your Marks, Get Set, and Go. It occurred to me that these three steps can be applied to the job search process.

On Your Marks - This first command says to the runner, Get in your lane. Get on your starting spot.

This command, in essence, is the step of alignment. Getting into the right place and position to perform.

Watch the synchronized divers. These pairs are extraordinary. Not only is the high board 3 stories above the pool, but the teams must dive in unison with the utmost precision. Talk about alignment!

For the job seeker, getting aligned has many meanings. It means that you are Ready, that you have your "ducks in a row," that you have prepared yourself mentally for the race ahead.

Get Set - The second command tells the runner to assume the starting position. This is the step of focus. You can see the intense focus in their bodies and in their faces.

After many of the races, the sportscaster on the scene would interview some of the athletes. I remember one such interview with swimmer Missy Franklin where she was asked how she transforms from the chatty and fun loving girl we see before the races to the intense competitor who wins the gold. Her answer: focus.

For the job seeker, focus means knowing What you are after, knowing your target.

Go - Then the third command signals the take off. This is the step of execution. Like an arrow shot from a bow, the runners dash from their starting spots, legs, arms, and hearts pumping round the track.

For the job seeker, this means action. Not sitting at home staring at the computer or waiting for the phone to ring. It means getting up every day and going to work on finding your next job.

For the three things above to be most effective, there is a step that precedes them. For the Olympians, it's the step that prepared these men and women physically, mentally, and emotionally to compete on the world stage. It's the step I would call Planning & Preparation.

Planning and Preparation includes a great deal, such as self-assessment, feedback, goal setting, communicating, training, and building a team.

It also includes grit, a property composed of commitment and perseverance.

As we get ready for the upcoming Winter Olympics next month in Sochi, I encourage all transitioners to make time to watch these competitors. They are living examples of the qualities necessary to win the race in the job search arena.

Posted on Terrence Seamon Sunday January 19, 2014

Terrence H. Seamon is a consultant who provides leadership and team development services to organizations. His book Lead the Way explores the challenges of leadership. Additionally, Terry is a job search and career coach whose book To Your Success provides a motivational guide for anyone in transition. His third book, Change for the Better, provides leaders with a guide to initiating, and navigating through, organizational change. Terry co-founded and co-moderates the St. Matthias Employment Ministry in Somerset, NJ. His free whitepaper on job search and transition, called "Galvanize Into Action," is available by sending him an email request. He can be reached at and via his website:

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