“There is no way I will ever lift enough weight to compete in a powerlifting completion.”
That’s what I said last March, when my trainer asked if I’d be interested in trying powerlifting. I had no clue what a powerlifting competition was, how I would train for it, or quite frankly, why I would even want to do it.
Fast forward to October 2015 when I competed and won in my age and weight class at the Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate’s 19th Annual Power Challenge in Boston. During the seven months of training leading up to it, I learned a lot about myself, as well as, acquired insights that actually apply to the jobseekers I work with every day.
#1 Success takes time. Looking for a new job is often a lengthy, and at times, arduous process. Manage your expectations from the outset and know that overnight results are not the measure of your success. There is a motto at my gym “better every day”; it doesn’t matter how small an increment of an activity/effort/change you do each day, you will be successful.
#2 Establish a support system. Your support system can range from your network and mentors to resume readers and professional career coaches. Having people who support you is essential to maintaining motivation during your search. Without the fabulous trainers and fellow trainees I work with, I would not have been able to succeed.
#3 Set goals. My training was predicated on attainable goals over a period of time. Hoping for a job within the next three months? Create a timeline and commit to it. And even if you have to adapt, put something down on paper to help keep you on task. If you need support, ask for it from your support system.
#4 Create a healthy routine. Looking for a job can be exhausting, especially if you’re looking for a job while you’re in a job. So, eat right, get plenty of sleep, and if you’re not working, create a daily schedule for yourself that will keep you focused. Being kind to yourself goes along way.
#5 Be strategic. Along with creating goals and timelines, you need a plan. Identify companies you’re interested in and find out if they’re hiring. Reconnect with old colleagues. And know that your next job may not be your ideal job. It’s a process. I had limited time to train in and we maximized the time I did have to maximize my ability to become as strong as I could in a short period of time.
#6 There will be good days and bad days. Growth and success are not linear. You will have bad days during a search. You might have a bad interview or make a mistake, but you’ll likely learn from both. I learned the most about what was possible on the days that gravity was the cruelest.
#7 “If not now, when?” It can be daunting to change jobs or careers. Many of us will put it off and never make the change. But we are all more capable than we think and should continue to push ourselves to grow. So if you’re feeling like there’s something better for you than the job you’re currently in, then maybe your “when” is now. As the eldest in my flight in the completion, I was asked several times why and I answered, “If not now, when?”
#8 “Never say never.” We all have reasons/excuses as to why things are the way they are in our lives. Ask yourself, are these truths or just the story that keeps you safe? I had my story and decided to change it. You can too.