Are You Ready for the Race? How to Develop Endurance When Searching for a Job

Are You Ready for the Race? How to Develop Endurance When Searching for a Job

As you prepare for your job race keep in mind that everything and everyone you encounter is taking you one step closer to your new journey.

“He Who Is Not Courageous Enough To Take Risks Will Accomplish Nothing In Life.”

Muhammad Ali

Have you ever run in a marathon?  I have!  Let me tell you it is nothing to be taken lightly.  It is a lot of work and can be daunting!  Before you embark on running in a marathon – there are a number of steps to be taken if you want to cross the finish line, get your medal, ribbon, and picture taken. 

Before I talk about those steps, I would like to tell you how I got involved with running in a marathon.

I was a part-time student at DePaul University (working full-time) and one of my friends from the program casually asked me if I wanted to participate in the upcoming marathon. She was approached by friends from another class and she immediately thought about inviting me to participate.  You know how we do – look for another participant to pal around with you. The more the merrier.  

I knew what a marathon was, but had not idea how the process worked.  I was working on my BA at the time and I was pretty much gained for anything associated with learning, or so I thought.  I said “Count me in – this is going to be fun.”   I trusted my friend and she wouldn’t lead me astray!!!

“I Hated Every Minute Of Training, But I Said, ‘Don’t Quit. Suffer Now And Live The Rest Of Your Life As A Champion.”

Muhammad Ali

Ready, Set, Go!  Well, not so fast…

The marathon was scheduled for October of that year and we began to train in February in the dead heat of winter.  If you are from Chicago, you know how cold it is in February.  February is one of the coldest months in Chicago.  A couple of the ladies in the group had participated in marathons in the past and knew how the process worked.  There was a total of about six or seven of us starting off.  We met and devised a schedule from the beginning to the end of the marathon.  The schedule included the following:

  • Date and time to meet for practice
  • Distance to be covered on a weekly basis
  • Clothing, gear, etc.
  • Diet
  • Being accountable to each other
  • Self-Care

There was nothing left to do but start practicing. I have to admit that at the beginning of the process it was fun because I was embarking on a new adventure, but as the process began to inch closer to the time of the marathon, it became tiring and there were times I wanted to quit.  As I mentioned earlier, we started off with six or seven participants in my group, but as time went on there was only three of us left.  The others dropped out for various reasons, but as Muhammad Ali stated – I will suffer now, and live as a champ the rest of my life. So, I toughed it out.  There were times when only my friend and myself showed up for training and we were running in the rain, but we continued on in spite of the elements.  I was determined not to quit!

“It Isn’t The Mountains Ahead To Climb That Wear You Out; It’s The Pebble In Your Shoe.”

Muhammad Ali

If you are not aware, the full-marathon is 26.2 miles and the half-marathon is 13.1 miles.  We were scheduled to participate in the half-marathon to help prepare us for the 26.2 race.  The half-marathon was fun because it was during the summer months.  I figured if I can complete the half-marathon, I can finish the 26.2.  The .2 are for the queen.

Training for a marathon will tax you like nothing else except for having a baby!  A couple of weeks prior to the full-marathon all of us began to experience some form of aches and pains.  My knees began to bother me, and my friends feet began to hurt.  We had trained for six months and we were weeks from our big day. We made a pact that once the marathon started that if one of us got hurt the others would continue on.  We started off as a group, but would finish as individuals.  

“It’s The Repetition Of Affirmations That Leads To Belief. And Once That Belief Becomes A Deep Conviction, Things Begin To Happen.”

The morning of the marathon stated off cold and chilly.  Afterall, this was October in Chicago.  My friend and I were instructed to dress in layers and as we ran the layers will be eliminated during the course of the race.  We had our gear which included water, the number on our chest, and energy packs.   Chips were inserted in our gym shoes prior to the start of the race.  Most of all – we had the belief that we were going to finish regardless of how long it took.  I was determined that I was going to finish due to the fact that I had prepared for the past six months.  I had not missed one practice session, ran in the ½ marathon, and even practiced during the week by myself as discussed.  

“Champions Aren’t Made In Gyms. Champions Are Made From Something They Have Deep Inside Them—A Desire, A Dream, A Vision. They Have To Have Last-Minute Stamina, They Have To Be ALittle Faster, They Have To Have The Skill And The Will. But The Will Must Be Stronger Than The Skill.”

Muhammad Ali

I cannot begin to explain the excitement of waiting for the sound of the start of the race to begin.  The elite runners are at the beginning of the line. After all, they earned that right and the rest of us in line based on how early we arrived. Once the race has started this is where the self-talk happens inside of yourself.  You tell yourself that you can and will finish.  There are other participants in the race with challenges which gives you strength to continue.  I remember when we were almost finished with the race, but not quite and my knees began to ache something terrible.  I had to use affirmations and prayer to continue on my journey.  My friend was struggling also, but we assured each other that we would meet at the finish line.  Our motto was to just keep moving even if we had to crawl over the finish line.  It took us about six hours, but we completed the race.  

The Race is Not Given to the Swift Nor the Strong . . . Run Your Race

Hebrews 12:1-2

Although it took us six hours to complete the race, we were not the last participants to cross the finish line and get our pictures taken.  

I equate running a marathon to looking for a job. You definitely need to have a game plan if you want to be successful:

  • Date, location, and time to look for a job
  • Networking plan
  • Sources such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Zip Recruiter
  • Self-Talk and prayer
  • Be willing and open for new adventures
  • Resume update(s)
  • Consistency
  • Proper diet and exercise
  • Perseverance
  • Learn new skills
  • Blog and/or Podcast

As Muhammad Ali states skill and will are important, but the will must be stronger than skills.  Why do you think the will is stronger than the skills?  

As we all can attest, most of us know a lot of people with skills, but are not successful because they have not willed themselves to be successful.  I am thoroughly convinced that I would not have finished the race had it not been for a strong will, self-talk, and prayer.  

That same effort has to be a big part of looking for a job on a daily basis. 

Perhaps your job to-do list looks similar to mine or a little bit different, but in the end I’m willing to bet that you have a plan and formula for winning.  I would love to hear from you and how you’ve navigated the world of winning the race of the job marathon.    

As a result of running in the marathon, I went on to participate in the Corporate Challenge, 5Ks, and the Rock and Roll Run. As a result of participating in the marathon, it opened the door and prepared me to be able to participate in other races.  

In conclusion – as you prepare for your job race keep in mind that everything and everyone you encounter is taking you one step closer to your new journey.  Are you ready to be amazed?  I would love to hear your thoughts…

“You’re not going to enjoy every minute of the journey, but the success you’ll find at the end will make it all worth it.” – Muhammad Ali