A marathoner sets out to run 26 miles. A candidate sets out to find a new job. Both are very similar. The process of finding a job is much like that of a runner training for a marathon.

It’s true that a candidate can sometimes land their ideal job quickly, but most often it takes time, discipline, and focus to find the right position. A marathoner doesn’t suddenly get up one day and say “I’m going to run 26 miles today.” He labors through the first mile. The next day he’ll add another. And the next day he’ll go even further until he feels he can run the full 26 miles. The same goes for a candidate. He or she doesn’t just wake up one morning and say “Today I’m gonna find a job, and I will start working tomorrow.” The candidate must first evaluate his or her skills, decide where he or she wants to go, and then dust off the resume and network with their friends, relatives and business contacts.

It’s easy to have an idea of running a marathon or finding a new job, but many times it’s hard to get to the finish line. In order to finish the race successfully, it’s important to equip yourself with everything you’ll need for the road ahead.

A marathoner will establish an overall vision, start eating right, and set a daily goal for what they need to accomplish. They also surround themselves with people who will support and encourage them and maintain optimism that they will get there. When starting your voyage for a new position or job it’s important to not only have an ultimate goal but to also establish smaller, more realistic goals at different stages that help you gauge your success during the process. You’re bound to fall once or twice along the way, but with the help of your network, you’ll have the courage and determination to rise above any obstacles in your path.

So, like a good marathoner, set your goals high and create a plan to get where you want to be. And don’t be afraid to get creative in your search. For example, you may want to become a House Manager, but you lack experience. Instead of giving up on your goal, take a position with potential for growth such as a Nanny or Housekeeper, which can act as a springboard to an eventual House Manager position.

It’s going to take hard work and perseverance, but in the end you’ll look back and be pleased with all the hard work you put forth. Just like Aesop’s old fable of the tortoise and the hare, remember that “slow and steady wins the race.” Happy travels.

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