Running: a metaphor for life.

As I faithfully ran 96 laps (yes, 96) around Ping Center’s track last week… I realized that I must really have some commitment to running this marathon. 96 laps is just ridiculous! It was a 10 mile run, inside, on a 200-yard track. However, when it comes down to it- it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Sometimes I just have to take off running and keep going until I hit my goal. It may hurt along the way, I may lose sight of where I am actually heading or why I am putting myself through that, but when I cross that finishing point it all makes sense. I feel amazing. And I mean, I then have a significant amount of bragging rights towards my non-runner friends. 10-miles to them seems like a nightmare and I just completed it. I put a lot of work into training and I wanted my ending result to be worth it.

Oprah Winfrey said it best, “Running is the greatest metaphor for life. You get out of it what you put into it.”

She was right. I run hard. I play hard. I work hard. It all pays off. I think this can easily be compared to my job search too. If I try hard to find a job that I want, and not settle for just anything that is willing to give me a paycheck at the end of the week, then I will truly be happy and work hard to complete that job perfectly. This job search is starting to show plenty of similarities to my training too. When training for a marathon, it takes a lot out of me. A lot of effort and motivation that is sometimes hard to find on cold days, like today. But for every run that I complete, I feel a lot closer to running the race and a lot more confident to completing it in good condition. As I am constantly searching for a full-time job, I start to get that same euphoric feeling I do when completing a run. For every time I receive an e-mail, a phone call, an informational interview or a LinkedIn message back from a potential connection or employer I feel that I am one stride ahead in finding the right job. Sure, sometimes I start to feel discouraged about finding work that I will love going to every day, just like I get discouraged about finding time to train for this race. However, at the end of the day I know that with each step forward, I am closer to completing each goal.

Last Friday I went to an advertising conference put on by the Cincinnati Ad Club. I braved a snowstorm and long hours traveling to get there and back… but I feel it was very beneficial, and totally worth it. At this conference many professionals who work in the field of PR and Advertising spoke to the group of students about life in their jobs, how they got to where they are today and what exactly employers are looking for on resumes and cover letters. The most beneficial part of my day, that truly left me leaving in that euphoric state, was listening to the Keynote Speaker Matt Moore. Matt is a graduate of Xavier University and now works at one of the top ad agencies in the country, Wieden and Kennedy. He was very helpful in showing that I don’t have to be the absolute best person there is out there- but I should be committed to what I want and to chase after it because employers will notice that.

I got the chance to speak with Matt later in the conference and was lucky enough to have him offer me some advice. I am hoping this all pays off in the end by going to these events. I am making connections that hopefully will help to land me my dream job and that I will be able to give back to these wonderful people who have guided me along the way as well.

After reflecting on this past weekend, receiving some promising feedback via email and LinkedIn today and organizing my thoughts for some meetings later tonight… it is about time to psych myself up for this long run. I am going to go read some running advertisements now and hope they give me a little push to do about 120 laps today. Wish me luck…

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