Your Job Search is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

The first in the series The Strength of Your Service…and Beyond 

By Chris Rath

Before my first marathon, I could not fathom running 26.2 miles.  Training for a long distance takes preparation, commitment and tenacity.  Your job search requires the same philosophy.  Finding a new job does not typically happen overnight neither does running a marathon with no training.  Here are tips to running one of the biggest races of your life – finding a job to your second career.

  1. Set a goal.  Right, it’s to find a job.  But not so fast.  Is your goal to find a job or a career? Are you looking for something long term or short term? What is your target industry or company size? Just as in race training, I had to plan for my pace, water breaks, etc.  So, take time to make a plan to help you focus and measure your process so you can make adjustments and move forward.
  2. Rely on a support system. For me, having running buddies and my family’s support got me through the long haul.  The same can make a tremendous difference in your search.  Build upon your existing network and reconnect. If you do not have a mentor, consider someone who has recently separated find military-friendly organizations who offer mentoring through free career mentors and professional resources. Your support system will only continue to grow with people who want to help you.
  3. Practice.  Marathon training often includes a few shorter races to help you prepare for race day.  Preparation for your job search activities should also be done.  As many of you are aware, have a good elevator speech and prepare for common interview questions.  But, take it one step further and continue to evaluate and refine.  Use your support system to work out the bugs so you can feel more relaxed and competitive on interview day.
  4. Change it up.  Conditioning through a variety of exercises better prepared me.  Some days I ran intervals; other days I ran hills – all with the same goal of helping me finish the race successfully.  The same goes for your resume.  While many of you know that refining and tailoring your resume is a constant process, it does get time consuming.  But remember, the end goal is to get you through finish line…with a new job!
  5. Take it easy. Don’t give up.  Stay positive.

To learn more about job searching for your second career, look for more installments of our series, “The Strength of Your Service…and Beyond.”

christine Rath Chris Rath leads the Veteran Recruiting Program for Booz Allen Hamilton, a publicly traded strategy and technology consulting firm based in Mclean, VA.  The program is focused on employment opportunities for former military, transitioning military, military spouses, guard and reservists.  Candidates may connect with me, other Booz Allen employees/recruiters, and transitioning military colleagues through our Booz Allen Transitioning Military Recruiting LinkedIn Group at https://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostRecent=&gid=5144107&trk=my_groups-tile-flipgrp

Booz Allen is an Employer of Choice for former military personnel, who make up a third of our workforce. We’re committed to supporting veterans, Reservists, National Guardsmen and women, and other employees with military backgrounds through outreach, training programs, and our Armed Services Forum, which provides support, camaraderie, and resources for employees formerly or currently serving our nation.

Visit www.boozallen.com/careers/transitioningmilitary to find out more about these and other unparalleled opportunities for transitioning military personnel and veterans, and to learn about webinars and other upcoming events.

Joining Forces Mentoring Plus offers free unlimited personal career and employment coaching and professional guidance – including working women mentors – for women veterans, female military spouses, caregivers of wounded warriors and survivors of fallen soldiers.  Visit www.JoiningForcesMentoringPlus.org. Volunteer women employees from partners including Booz Allen Hamilton and others are waiting to share their expertise and experience with you!