Last week, we talked about how job searching is an awful lot (emphasis on awful!) like dating. Now, let’s explore how job searching is like a marathon.

A marathon is a running race where people voluntarily choose to run (or jog or walk) 26.2 miles consecutively. And they have to pay money for the privilege of doing so! Crazy right?

Although it’s a running race, a marathon has almost nothing to do with racing. There are very few people on the planet that have the ability and have done the intensive prep work to be in contention for winning the race. Nearly everyone who enters a marathon is doing it to test their limits, endurance, and sanity!

Pretty sure you can see how the job search is exactly like a marathon. Anyone who’s looked for work recently knows it’s not for the faint of heart. It takes more effort, energy, and emotional fortitude than you ever expect when you start. Most of us think (or more accurately hope) that we’ll hit the apply button to the first posting that catches our eye and they’ll see what a talent they have on their hands and hire us immediately.

Just like a marathon, the job search rarely goes exactly according to plan!

I’ve completed several marathons and a bunch more half marathons (you’d know I wasn’t bragging if I shared my finish times!) and not a single one of those events went off without a hitch. There was the time I forgot my running shorts and had to run in my pool cover-up bottoms (not recommended!). There was the time the start of the race was delayed due to excessive lightning and a torrential downpour on the course. There was the time I drank a glass of beer offered by a random spectator and immediately regretted that decision! The list of ailments, injuries, and idiocy is long.

But when testing your limits, endurance, and sanity whether in a marathon or in a job search, you’ve got to be ready to adjust!

It could be as simple as changing your pace to apply to more job postings. It definitely involves reaching out to people and activating your network. It could be an overhaul of your resume and LinkedIn profile to help you get the results you want (I know a great career coach that specializes in this! Spoiler alert: It me.)

The point is, you need to remember that the job search is a marathon rather than a sprint. Your search requires sustained effort over time to get where you want to go. There will be challenges and setbacks; what separates the successful people from everyone else is their willingness to adjust.

My favorite part of any running race I’ve done is the gathering of runners after it’s over. It’s the camaraderie of a group of people that all in some way pushed against or past boundaries. It’s where we share the stories of what went wrong and how we found a way to make it to the finish line in spite of the challenges.

You’re creating those same stories right now in your job search. And everyone is excited to hear the challenges you’ve overcome when you finally get that offer!!

#PositiveAction Do something this week that energizes you so you’re ready to give your full effort to your job search!

And if completing a marathon is on your bucket list, I loved The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer (affiliate link). 


Image by Th G from Pixabay


One of my best friends got a job offer last week. He is one of the most amazing, highly skilled, ridiculously awesome people I’ve ever met and any company would be super fortunate to have him on their team.

It took him 8 months to find this job. Eight!

If a Rockstar like him needs the better part of a year to get a new job, what hope is there for the rest of us? And why would it take that long for someone with an awesome skillset to find a job?

Well, timing. The pandemic hit only a month into his search and many companies stopped hiring in the short-term as they figured out the whole work-from-home thing. And by the time everything was figured out enough, then it was summer, a time when there are far fewer postings due to holidays/vacations.

Process plays a role too. Many (I’d argue most!) companies have outdated, burdensome, non-applicant-centric hiring processes.

But by far, the biggest factor was people, and more specifically, the ways we need to interact during the job search.

Job searching is like… dating

Job searching is basically like dating, but far more awful. It’s meeting a bunch of random strangers and hoping that you hit it off with even one. It’s engaging in polite small talk and trying to keep your problems hidden until later. It’s being charming and witty and amazing and then never hearing from them again!

With job searching you get all the awkwardness and pain, but none of the dinner and drinks reward (and let’s be honest, food is a HUGE motivator for most of us!). At least with dating, you have the possibility of someone buying you a meal!

Even with all the technology in place in the job search process, remember that people are the final decision-makers and people don’t always make rational decisions. There are politics, and management philosophies, and company culture, and team dynamics and whole lot of other things at play for Every. Single. Job. Posting. And there is no visibility or transparency into those things. Often, an “it’s-not-you-it’s-me” response has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with all those invisible forces at work.

My friend managed to slog through the dead-ends and disappointments of the job search, while keeping his sense of humor in tact (a must for dating AND job searching!) and eventually found a perfect role for his exact skillset.

So just like dating, the best approach is to keep putting yourself out there and waiting for the right one to come along. It will, and you’ll be glad you didn’t settle!

#PositiveAction Hit the apply button to one (more!) job this week. You never know when you’ll find “the one”!!

If you’re in need of a super-fast way to super-charge your job search, check out my e-book on job searching during a pandemic.


Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

It’s a short week, thanks to the Memorial Day holiday in the United States, so this week’s blog is an excerpt from my new e-book, Get Out of Your Pajamas, Take a Shower, and Talk to Someone: Job Searching During a Pandemic, Economic Downturn, Recession, or Other Crisis. If you enjoy it, you can pick up a copy on Amazon today.


You may be wondering, “But what about my dog/cat/fish/child/parent/step-child/in-law/illness/circumstance/situation/other unnamed person, animal, or challenge that is making it more difficult to do my best work during this time?” My best advice is this:

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Communicate and clarify expectations for yourself and others. Communicate your availability if you have specific times when you have other commitments (caring for children, pets, or parents, for example). Communicate how your work is going. Communicate any obstacles preventing you from doing your work. Communicate to your team on how they are doing and ask that they do the same for you.

A misunderstanding never starts with too much communication.

You seem like you’ve got a great handle on stress management and mental health, so I probably don’t even need to mention this, but… During any sort of crisis, (but also just in general!) don’t try to do it all! The stress will consume you in short order. Be clear and realistic about what you are able and willing to do.

Know that in times of uncertainty, communication can help lessen the fear, even if it doesn’t change the amount of ambiguity you’re facing. Your new co-workers will appreciate your honesty and authenticity and it will likely create or enhance an environment where they feel comfortable sharing in the same way.

#PositiveAction How can you communicate with honesty and authenticity today?

This ends the excerpt, but I wanted to share that this e-book covers several topics including how to activate your network, refreshing your resume and LinkedIn profile, interview prep, and more! I know not everyone loves reading, so it’s deliberately short to focus on what you need to know to be super effective in your job search and nothing more. Here’s to efficiency!!

Technology has dramatically changed the job search. You need to consider algorithms, ATS’s (that’s applicant tracking systems for those unfamiliar), your social media posts, and a whole lot of other things that you didn’t have to think about 20 years ago. Even 10 years ago, those things all mattered much less than they do today.

I talk to lots of job seekers that struggle with embracing these technological changes, partly because they prefer a more human approach. If you fall into this camp, I’ve got great news for you: keeping humans at the center of your job search will actually be much more effective than most other strategies!

Well this is surprising (but is it? Is it really?).

We’ve talked before about the importance of being kind, and relationship currency, and not being a grade-A jerk (or any kind of jerk!) when you’re faced with an interruption. Our relationships with others define not just our workplaces, but our entire lives.

So how do we bring our relationships into focus in the context of a job search? The first thing to do is tell everyone you know that you’re in the midst of job search. Some people may not know. Some may not remember, even if you did tell them already. This best done not through a generic post on social media about looking for a job, but rather reaching out to people individually and sharing with them specifically what you’re looking for in your job search.

And when I say everyone you know, I mean everyone! You’ll be surprised at who ends up helping you and who ends up ignoring your request (extend them a little kindness and know they likely have a good reason if they didn’t help). So yes, your former co-workers can be a good starting point, but don’t leave out friends and family, neighbors, acquaintances, and people you know through various community organizations and businesses.

I have a friend that has been looking for a job throughout the pandemic. He has done all the right things from a technology standpoint and has a great resume and LinkedIn profile. He recently was interviewed for one of the positions he applied for online, but the reason he got the call wasn’t because his resume made it through the ATS and was keyword optimized (although it did make it through).

It’s because his neighbor was an employee at the company and looked up the job posting to see who the hiring manager was and then shared it with my friend. My friend wrote a nice, personal message to the hiring manager, which helped him stand out from the over 1,500 (!) people that applied online. On top of that, a former co-worker took the time to write my friend a glowing recommendation and sent it to the hiring manager. These three steps didn’t take a ton of extra time, but had a huge impact on the hiring process.

The odds of my friend being one of the handful of people getting a call for an interview are WAY less than the odds of finding one of Willy Wonka’s golden tickets. But my friend beat the odds by adding in something that algorithms can’t properly account for: human relationships.

#PositiveAction Whether you’re looking for a job right now or not, reach out to someone you know that you haven’t talked to in a while. It’s a whole lot easier to start a conversation when you don’t need something!

If you or someone you know is in the midst of the job search right now, I’ve got a short e-book that helps focus on the most important strategies (like talking to humans) to jump start your quest and help you stand out from the crowd. Check out Get Out of Your Pajamas, Take a Shower, and Talk to Someone: Job Searching During a Pandemic, Economic Downturn, Recession, or Other Crisis on Amazon today.



E-book cover image by Wolf Mountain Publishing

Blog post image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay