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Job Seekers: Think Like A Basketball Player

March Madness and Job SeekersAfter a challenging and exciting season, the UNC Tar Heels clinched the victory during last night’s March Madness Championship and Tar Heel fans across the country are showing their excitement today by sporting their Carolina blue. In our Greene Resources office this morning, more than a few conversations turned into discussions of the highlights (or lowlights) of last night’s game.  March Madness is one of our favorite times of the year at Greene; we kick off the tournament with a potluck-style barbecue, broadcast the first few games in our breakroom, and have a fiercely competitive company-wide bracket challenge (congratulations to our COO, Cherié, on this year’s win!).  

This month of constant basketball has taught us a lot about the game, but basketball also serves as a powerful metaphor for the job seeker’s experience.

  • There Will Be Upsets. This season began with several upsets right off the bat, whether it was 1-seed Villanova losing to 8-seed Wisconsin, or 2-seeds Duke and Louisville losing early on to 7-seeds South Carolina and Michigan. Upsets happen and small or minor decisions can lead to unexpected results, for better or worse.  As job seekers, it is important to learn from mistakes, brush yourself off and try again. 
  • It’s Not Over ‘Till It’s Over. In basketball, you learn to never count out a team until the buzzer has sounded – the same goes for your job search.  You may be applying for a position that seems out of your reach or maybe you feel like you bombed an answer to an interview question, but it is important to continue with 100% effort and determination until the end of the process. Make sure to consistently make a strong impression through things like your resume, a thank you note and follow up.
  • Sportsmanship.  We have all watched that player who gets angry after a foul is called, but just like in a career search, a bad reaction leaves a lasting negative impression.  Rejections from positions will happen, but it doesn’t mean the door is fully closed.  Your network should always be growing and developing.  You never know who from that company you may meet or connect with in the future, so it’s important to never burn bridges, but instead be professional and polished in all of your interactions, even if you feel like you got the raw end of the deal.
  • Be prepared, mentally and physically. When a player is physically in the game, but not truly there mentally, you can tell.  Similarly, a successful job search requires both mental and physical engagement.  Mentally, understand the type of position for which you are applying and your strengths and weaknesses for that type of position, along with how you can bring success to the company. In the same way, you must also prepare for the physical requirement of the job search. Understand how time-consuming and exhausting the search can be and prepare accordingly. Appropriate preparation will ease the difficulty of your job search.

If you’re a job seeker who is searching for your next career move, we’d love to offer some resources to help you on your way.  Our Job Seeker Resource Center offers helpful tools including resume guides, interview tips and best practices, and assessments which showcase your talents and abilities and how to use them to land a fulfilling career.  When you’re ready to step onto the court and begin your career search, look at our current open positions and apply for what could be your next slam dunk career!

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