Welcome to SixFigureStart®

Career Coaching by Former Fortune 500 Recruiters

Last day of summer at the beach and how it ties to a job search

I spent this past Sunday at the Jersey Shore – my favorite getaway – to enjoy one of the last days of summer.   I try to get there every weekend during the summer, as my husband and I have a small bungalow which is about 60 seconds from the sand. 

During the summer weekends, I see the same guy (about 55 years old) paddling his bright yellow kayak headfirst into the waves.  He has an amazing technique and rarely flips over.  I just didn’t expect him to be there after all the crowds have gone. 

Well, the waves were pretty intense this past weekend and he took a mean flip which sent his kayak to the beach and he followed not so easily.  When he finally came in, about 4 or 5 people waited for him and he took his boat, drained it of the water, and just headed back out again.  I told him how much I enjoy watching him and he told me that couldn’t at all equal the enjoyment he gets from kayaking.

So, of course, I thought of how that compares to the job search process.  He used 3 characteristics to ensure success and you can use the same during your job search process:

1. Knowledge:  he knows how to handle his kayak in calm waters and tumultuous waters.  He knows how to position his kayak when the waves are 2 feet high and 5 feet high.  He knows what to do when he flips over, and how to get the kayak ready to go out again.

2. Tenacity:  he never gives up.  If it’s sunny or cloudy, he’s out there.  If the water is rough or smooth, he’s out there.  He is persistent and as a reward, he gets the closest to the dolphin pods that swim by, and the flocks of stingrays that ride the waves just as the swimmers do.

3. Proactive:  He knows how to deal with any expected difficulty.  When his kayak filled with water, he flipped it over, drained it, resealed the opening and out he went again.  When he got caught in tough waves without his kayak, he used to oars to stay afloat.

All three things can apply to the job search.  You have to know what to do in good situations, and tough situations.  You have to be tenacious – get out there and network when the weather is good, and when the weather is bad.  Never cancel an appointment because you may not be feeling your best.  And lastly, you must be proactive and create opportunities when there doesn’t seem to be any because of this economy.  People will get hired in 2008 and 2009.  Make sure it’s you!


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