Olympics 2012: career lessons we can learn from the good and the great

With the 2012 Olympics over and the Paralympics just started, there’s a whole new set of role models we can look up to and learn from. So when it comes to your own job hunt, what can you learn from the Games?

Choosing your career: Lessons to learn from the Olympics

Use your strengths – There’s a good reason why you don’t see swimmers swimming one day and then riding a horse the next; you need to know your strengths and work at them. If you can write, write, if Maths is your subject, use it, if you have a strong head for business, head down that route.

Try not to apply for jobs for the sake of it; choosing a career will become much easier once you start to play to your strengths and apply for positions based on them.


Self confidence – These athletes wouldn’t go very far if they didn’t truly believe they were capable of getting great results. You don’t have to come up with a signature move or start your own Wiggins-esque sideburn trend to show somebody that your self esteem is high; if you have a talent, believe in it. Pursue your field with the mindset that you’re just as good, if not better, than everyone else. Employers don’t want to meet someone oozing doubt, so hold your head high and start believing in yourself.


Push yourself – Choosing a career path isn’t easy…. That’s no reason not to try. Certain industries are incredibly competitive and you’ll likely face rejection along the way to getting your dream job.

Don’t let this faze you. Learn from your mistakes and correct them next time. Continuously work on your employability; read around your field, edit your CV, take a course to develop some new skills, apply for difficult positions and push yourself outside your comfort zone; make yourself stand out, make yourself employable.


Anything is possible – Cheesy? Yes. But true nonetheless. No, a great career isn’t going to fall into your lap, but if you choose appropriately, work hard and constantly push yourself, you can achieve just about anything.

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