5 Career Training Tips Inspired by Olympic Athletes

With the 2012 London Olympics slowly drawing to a close, it’s time to start thinking about the inspirational lessons we can derive from the world’s elite athletes. Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti recently wrote a column for Brazen Life and Business Insider that outlines career training tips inspired by Olympic athletes. What strategies can help you clear work hurdles with the ease of an Olympian?

  1. Focus on the fundamentals. Even though Olympic basketball players have been playing the game for years, they still practice layups and free throws every day. The basics are essential yet easily to overlook. Wilen-Daugenti recommends that you focus on networking, interviewing and your resume, constantly sharpening your skills in these areas so that should the need arise, you’ll be ready.
  2. Ongoing training. Olympians hardly take days off from training; U.S. swimmer Natalie Coughlin trains some five hours a day. Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning to enhance your key proficiencies. Consider going back to school or working towards appropriate certifications or credentials.
  3. Stay the course. The road to success is paved with hard work. It’s tempting to put career development on the back burner when life intervenes. When this happens to you, just remember Lance Armstrong’s words: “Pain is temporary. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
  4. Make lofty goals. “Imagine yourself as ‘You, Inc.’ — the CEO of your own career,” wrote Wilen Daugenti. By envisioning what you’d like your career to look like in five or so years, you’ll be able to outline mini-goals to advance you down that path.
  5. Consult the experts. Everyone needs a mentor. Olympic athletes have an array of mentors, from coaches to physical therapists and expert analysts. Seek out peers and influential colleagues to learn more about your company, line of work or industry when you need help.

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