Job Search Inspiration from Olympic Athletes



First of all – the most obvious lesson is INSPIRATION about what is possible, aspiring to your personal best, and of course, WINNING:  it’s EVERYWHERE in the Olympics, it’s most of why I watch! (besides just pure AWE at what these often seemingly super humans can actually DO with their bodies!)

In addition to that, a few stories I’ve heard so far (there’s still almost a week left of competition as I’m writing this), seem to illustrate other wisdom applicable to job seekers.

What would you add to this list? What, and who, has inspired and shown a useful example to you in the Tokyo Games so far?

Honor Your Needs: 

Simone Biles, US Women’s Gymnastics – withdrew from many of the team and individual competitions citing “mental health concerns”.

Lesson: Protect your mental health above all else – you can still ‘medal’ later on! Simone went on to re-enter the individual vault competition when she was feeling prepared to compete again, and she won a bronze medal, which she said she cherishes, having honored and protected herself first. Many, though not all in the US that have weighed in on her personal decision have been supportive of her choices.

The right people will “get it”, and support you.

(If you are not supported by your employer in a situation like this, I say it’s a clear red flag they won’t support you and your needs period, and it’s time to start getting ready to move on.)


Give Credit Where It’s Due: 

Caeleb Dressel, US Swimmer – when he won a gold medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay, he threw his medal to Brooks Curry, his teammate. Curry helped Dressel earn the medal by swimming in the preliminary round. Dressel swam the final competition, and wanted to share the win with his team mate that helped him get there. 

Mutaz Essa Barshim, Qator and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi, High Jumpers –  when they tied, they agreed to share the Gold.

Lesson:  Share the win. Give credit where it’s due. Maybe you can’t (and shouldn’t) share the ultimate job search ‘win’ of getting the job offer, but, you CAN (and should) “share the spotlight” with deserving colleagues when you tell your success stories in an interview. Good sportsmanship, however it may be applied in life, doesn’t diminish you or your achievement. It illustrates that you are a team player, gracious, and not arrogant enough to believe all your wins are due to your own merit and efforts.


You’re Not Too Old to Win & Be Recognized for Your Skills:

Abdullah Al-Rashidi, Kuwait Skeet Shooter:  became an Olympic medalist at age 58.

For Ukrainian gymnast Oksana Chusovitina, this is her 8th Olympics competition. This 46 years old announced Tokyo would be her last. She earned a standing ovation after her final performance.


Keep working hard, and showing up to do your best, job seekers!  When you do that, you’ll ALWAYS be a winner.