Training for a Career Change Marathon?

This weekend is the New York City Marathon! 

There's something about watching the thousands of runners every year that gives me a high on the marathon weekend. As a runner, I can really appreciate the pain - both physical and mental - that can be associated with training for a marathon. I've run four 1/2 marathons but never a full. 

Training can be physically exhausting of course, but often for me, the worst part of training is the mental energy it takes.

Thinking about the long run you have coming up the next day.
Psyching yourself up the morning of a long run to get out the door.
When you're only half way done with your long run, pushing aside thoughts of, 'This is too far... I can't.'

It is totally like being in a career change or job search. 

Thinking about how you'll be spending your upcoming Saturday's scouring job boards.
Psyching yourself up the morning of a job interview or networking event.
When you haven't heard back from a job you applied for and have to put aside thoughts of, 'I'm not qualified. I'll never get hired.'

I often tell clients to treat the job search, and especially a larger career pivot like training for a marathon.

You've got to work at it every week and over time you'll have built up stamina, a network, clarity, and confidence. 

Need some tips to get you started? Download our handy Job Search Training Calendar here!

Before you can gear up for those longer runs, you have to make sure you've got the right equipment (sport gels, the right sneakers that fit, and a water bottle molded to your palm). Think of your resume, cover letter template, and LinkedIn profile as your equipment. And sometimes you have to upgrade to the next version. 

Think of the part on the run where you start to feel super tired. Part of what keeps you going on the long uphill is the knowledge that a friendly face will be around the corner waiting to cheer you on. Think about who your cheerleaders are in your job search. Who will be there for you pushing you to keep going when things get difficult or you feel so far from the finish line. 

How do you know you're making progress? The mile markers you run by. You see one in sight and you think, one more down! What are the markers you're measuring yourself by on your search? Most people only think about the end goal of getting an offer, but there are lots of signposts along the way you have to reach. Getting your resume ready, reconnecting with old colleagues, and perfecting your interview introduction are key milestones. Don't forget to identify these markers and feel accomplished when you've met them.

We've got more ideas on the first things you should do when tackling and training for a career transition. 

Check out our Job Search Training Calendar here!