Prepare for job search like an athlete prepares for the Olympics

My years as Operations Manager with Wausau Whitewater gave me many benefits and one of those was meeting a wide range of athletes. I learned how they approach a challenge and how an athlete prepares and sets goals. I even have had the privilege of meeting and becoming friends with many Olympians, several of whom are competing in London right now.

My Olympic connections

Prepare for job search like an athlete prepares for the OlympicsThe Canoe / Kayak Slalom sport is represented in 2012 Olympics with five USA athletes, all of whom have paddled in Wausau and all of whom I have met.

I had the privilege of knowing and getting to know two of them better when they were in Wausau for the Junior /U23 Slalom World Championships when they came with Joe Jacobi and his daughter Seu for lunch at my home.

I’ve written about Joe in the past. Joe is also an Olympian, winning the Gold medal in the 1992 Olympics in Spain as a C2 slalom competitor. His daughter, Seu, gets her name from the city where he won the gold: “The Parc Olímpic del Segre, built in 1992 for the Barcelona Summer Olympic Games, is a pump-driven canoe and kayak sports venue located adjacent to the historical centre of la Seu d’Urgell.”

Joe is now the Executive Director of USA Canoe & Kayak. The USA is very blessed with his leadership because he has already taken whitewater sports to new heights. He encouraged economic development throughout the country but especially in Oklahoma City, new home of USA Canoe & Kayak and an upcoming venue for future events in both sprint and slalom. When you take that “go for the gold” mentality and transform it into the rest of your life, you see amazing results.

I had never met Seu before but knew her from Facebook and from talking with Joe. We had a delightful visit and since she too enjoys the whitewater sports, I am sure I will see her again in Wausau in the future.

2012 London Olympic Competitors

Prepare for job search like an athlete prepares for the OlympicsMy other lunch guests were Casey Eichfeld and Caroline Queen, both completing in the 2012 London Olympics. I’ve known Casey since he was 9 and first paddled in Wausau. Casey is a two-time Olympian. He competed in C2 in the Beijing Olympics with Ricky Powell. In London, he paddled solo in the C1 class.

Caroline and I had met on the river but until she came for lunch, I had not gotten to know her well. Like Casey, she is a genuinely nice person and a great athlete. It is her first time in the Olympics.

Caroline and Casey have put in years of training as Olympians to train for the opportunity to compete in the Olympics. They invest in not only whitewater coaches but in other training on flat land that strengthens their body for the competition. The length of time it takes a whitewater competitor to complete an Olympic level slalom course is measured in seconds and fractions of a second:

Most slalom courses take 80 to 120 seconds to complete for the fastest paddlers. Depending on the level of competition, difficulty of course, degree of water turbulence and ability of the other paddlers, times can go up to 200 seconds.

The Olympic slalom competitor doesn’t have much time. But they train for years for a goal that is won or lost by less than 10 seconds. The USA competitors know they face difficult competition. The field in Europe in Canoe & Kayak is filled with great athletes, many who are supported by government investment in their training and development. Hungry holds the most medals (71) in Canoe / Kayak and the USA all time record is 16 and only 5 of those are gold. USA has 730 medals in Track & Field and 489 in Swimming

Training for your Job Search like an Olympian

Most people approach a job search with much less training than an Olympian. But the success of a job search means putting food on your table and a roof over your head for more than five years. Your success in your job search will enable you to pay your bills, move forward in your future, and reach new career goals as you move forward in your life.

If you dedicate even a fraction of the time to your job search the way an Olympian approaches their sport, you will be much more likely to reach your career goals.

How? As your career marketing expert to guide you through the challenges of job search, I help you avoid the career search obstacles. I hear the success stories of my clients. It is far easier for you to succeed in your job search than it is for an Olympian like Caroline or Casey to win the gold. But they don’t let obstacles get in the way. You shouldn’t either.

Julie Walraven can help you achieve results through using a personalized job search and resume writing  strategy to take the mystery out of the process. To find out how, simply click here!


  1. Julie on July 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I’ve only met one Olympic athlete and the amount of training they put into it is really amazing. As she said, you only get one shot at it, so you have to be prepared to win. You’re right, if it means putting food on the table, you will put the work into it.

    • Julie Walraven on August 1, 2012 at 9:13 am

      SO right… glad you stopped by… if you learn from the failure moments, you have lifelong skills.

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