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What’s Holding You Back & Summer Job Hunts

Two posts in one: For tips about a summertime job hunt, scroll down.

I have an update for those of you who read the What’s Holding You Back? post about my swimming phobia. The Philadelphia Olympic triathlon was this past weekend and I was a swimming machine! Although I wasn’t the fastest thing in the Schuylkill, I completed my longest distance (0.93 miles) in 35 minutes, and it was… enjoyable.

My prescribed approach from the last post was:

1.       Don’t kid yourself. Outcome won’t improve without action.
2.       Figure out your baseline.
3.       Get out in front of it.
4.       Recognize you don’t have what it takes.
5.       Give yourself a challenge or a deadline.

Here’s how I put those principles into action:

  1. Step 1 was to get comfortable with the Olympic distance, so I kicked off a Mile a Day in May campaign. It turned out to be a mile every other day, because who has time to be in the pool 40 minutes/day?! But by the end of the month, I had proven to myself that I could swim a mile. Ain’t no thing.
  2. I took lessons from Eric Scheingoltz, the Masters swim coach at Drew. When I started, it took me a miserable 29 strokes to dog paddle across the pool. In three lessons, he had me down to 17 strokes. The man is a genius.
  3. Open water swimming is more challenging than the pool: No lap lanes or walls to push off, plus all kinds of yicky wildlife. So I went to Mountain Lakes with some new swim friends and swam the lake. After the first time, my trepidation subsided. On my second to last visit, I stepped on a “rock” and it moved. I didn’t even scream.
  4. Enlist the help of people who know what they’re doing. In addition to Coach Eric, my friends from the Madison tri club got in the water with me and gave me pointers. Their enthusiasm and support helped me look forward to swim practice.
  5. I gave myself 6 weeks to train for Philly. Enough time to practice and improve. Not a day to procrastinate.

I felt triumphant at the Swim Exit. I never panicked during the swim, or got fatigued or had to roll over and float. I was in control. I beat my phobia. It won’t hold me back from longer races anymore. Like my boyfriend George Clooney says, “You do the thing you’re scared sh*tless of, and you get the courage AFTER you do it, not before.”

And now, for those of you who came here for something business-related…


Summer and Summer Fridays are upon us. That typically means a slowdown on the hiring front, at least until Labor Day. We have fewer searches right now, and it takes longer to schedule interviews and achieve decisions with people on vacation.

Does that mean you should table your job search until September? I don’t think so. You’ll be ahead of the game if you begin now, just be prepared that things might take a little longer and don’t take it as a sign of disinterest.

The same principles from holiday job hunts apply – Read my earlier post on this topic. Persistence and follow-up are key so you don’t slip off the grid.

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