What the Olympics can Teach Us About Career Management, Recruiting Success, And Life

You know I sit in awe of the sunset, and I sit in awe of the incredible ride of 2009, and now a promising year in 2010. All of us can have more hope now, as the sun sets on a very bad economic wave, that propelled everyone to near despair at times, and for others, reminded them of just how important life is. I sit at my computer tonight full of perspective, full of new knowledge, the capacity to succeed is within each of us-does it not beat loudly like a drum of hope that this economy is going to start picking up. You can feel the rumblings on the job boards, you can see the triumph of the athletes from the Olympics as the US leads the way in certain areas of Olympic prowess. I love this. I love watching the athletes climb the pinnacles. There is something about watching Apolo Anton Ohno take another Speed Skating Gold, or watching the first men's Figure Skating Champion in Evan Lysacek in 22 years. Or watching our Snowboard Champion: Shaun White take another gold or watching Shani Davis take the 1000m Speed Skating Crown. Or there is American Lindsey Vonn as she was awarded her first Olympic gold medal at an uplifiting ceremony in Whistler. American Julia Mancuso won silver in the same event. The list of inspiring moments begs the momentous look at the sky from time to time, to wonder what amazing things can be done in this world if only we put our hearts and minds to it. As my job search continues-I have made amazing networking contacts, all to the steps and rythm of life's great panoroma of soul searching prowess. I used my recruiting skills to pick up the phone and amazingly results have come-the phone is a friend of a recruiter, and a friend of the job seeker-sometimes initiating the calls is the key to winning. Just as athletes in the Olympics take all their years of training to hone their skill and find a crowning achievement-is it not golden when you find the missing candidate that will make a hiring manager find their excitement about doing their work again. Or when you make that key connection that leads to that magical fill-maybe its money in the bank in the form of a fee, or a magical summit of peaceful euphoria when a hiring manager, your internal client, or your business partner finds solace in the hire that you helped place. Those are things that make life feel amazing and full of new perspective.

So while making these calls I was privileged to be invited to help staff a couple of Recruiting Agency roles for a firm that specializes in just that-recruiting for recruiters-the likes of which will enable me to feed my family when I can and do make the connections that will lead to a fee by helping one of my fellow recruiting family find a job. What can be better than that.

It is so amazing to be finding work in amazing places, and even though I am 1099 and working from home-I am still doing what I love, recruiting. Nothing is better than finding the needle in haystack-and by the way if you are looking for work-just look me up on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mikerasmussenphr or send me an email: mike_rasmussen@sbcglobal.net

If you are a talented technical recruiter or sales minded staffing professional in Charlotte North Carolina then I would love to hear from you.

Well, back to what makes the Olympics a special teaching moment in the school of life for us recruiters. It is the tenacity of the recruiter that helps them make continuous fills and placements. There is something about identifying top talent which just makes my blood run warm, and then I get goosebumps as I talk about the process. There is so much that can make one successful if they will but have the willpower and like an Olympic Athlete having the stamina to compete and make a difference.

The war for talent will always go on. There will be no interruptions, rather an opportunity to shine brightly when challenges surface. Now many of us find ourselves in a day to day situation with hundreds of resumes. And when you feel your hard work come together you start to feel the spirit that beats in the heart of every good staffing professional when they realize that to make a difference is to sometimes sacrifice time and effort, to get to the desired outcome.

These are opportunities in 2010 to make a vast network, build on past success and get the word out about the victories, triumphs and even pitfalls that we as recruiters learned in this market.

Career Management will never become a passing fad-rather an essential quality of knowledge and street smarts to make it through this tough climate.

As I watch American Idol, and watch the various motivational opportunities afforded each day, I can't help but be grateful.

The economy will continue to prove to each of us that we must be like a marathon runner to make it through the pace.

The Olympics teach us what is possible in life and in the spirit of healthy competition. There are opportunities in staffing coming now and fast and furious as the economy starts to ramp up, and companies realize that they can no longer run efficiently without a robust staffing function.

The lessons will be learned in time. But the main thing is these Olympics can inspire us to be better human beings. I think we as staffing professionals can provide the ability to move on in career growth and opportunity, through this the Olympic Flame still burns even when challenging circumstances arrive. The opportunity and tenacity of Olympic Athletes can be supplied to our own day to day business efforts. Such discipline yeilds the complete outcome of golden opportunity. Just like the sun set on 2009, 2010 has all the makings of an Olympic Banner Year. And what a wonderful thing, as we help make our cheers to our athletes, may we remember that staffing is just like an Olympic Sport: with challenges, areas where persistency gets the deal, and where life is about making a difference no matter what. That is again really the spirit of the Olympics!

Succeeding in one's career one must make every effort to sustain the level of the entrepreneur. The small business will continue to be the engine behind succesful Olympic Like outcomes.

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Comment by Saleem Qureshi on February 20, 2010 at 1:22am
@Mike..Excellent way to metaphorically link the Olympics with our lives, careers and talent management. It's true we all are gifted by talent, and we all have to fight to prove our talent in this growing economy. As you said that due to the robust growth in economy, companies are now heavily dependent on staffing function, now it's the great challenge to identify and retain top-notch talents. Recruiters need to remove the ambiguity and subjectivity of antiquated HR management systems, and implement assessment technology to understand the relationships between talent and business performance.
Comment by Paul Alfred on February 20, 2010 at 3:52pm
@Saleem... Top recruiters do quite well in finding top talent for companies without the use of HR Management Systems and assessment technology - even if they end up doing an assessment at the employer site as part of the recruiting process... Now having worked for IBM I can see the need for companies to implement assessment technology with respect to performance, assessment, management and training. Saleem as I tell all my clients and candidates after the interview is completed and you look your potential employer in the eye and tell him thanks while firmly shaking hands- he is not going to remember " Gee this guy/girl really knows the J2EE Framework I can use him/her for my .NET migration project" No .... He is going to say you know what I like John or Jane I feel i can work with him or her I reall liked his/her "Personality" I can see him or her on my team ... In the end people hire who they like.


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