Job Search Lessons from Super Bowl 47

I loved Super Bowl 47. The battle between the two teams was one that I expected to be as fierce as it was and be as close as it was. As those who know me would say, the only thing that would have made it better is if the Giants played in it and won.

It’s hard for me to look at the game and not be reminded of certain truisms from job hunting.

1. You don’t think these teams got there by accident?

These are organizations that have prepared for years to put the talent on the field with systems in place to support that talent. It has been an organizational effort, not just an effort by the players.

You need to engender the support of family, friends, (former) collagues, relationships, former vendors, ANYONE who can support you to victory.

2. Take risks and don’t second guess yourself.

The 49ers were a very good team, solid on offense and overwhelming on defense. Their head coach made a decision during the season. While their starting quarterback was injured, he decided to replace him with the backup. A solid offense became a great one.

The Ravens were a very good team but their offense was “stuck” and had been for years. Their head coach fired their offensive coordinator with only a few weeks left in the season. That usually isn’t enough time to make such a change and have a positive impact in the current season. Yet Baltimore’s offense blossomed under their new coordinator.

Both men were second gruesed for their decisions yet they made them and stuck by them.

There may be times when a calculated risk on your part is called for. It’s OK to be afraid when you take that actiuon. It is not OK to be paralyzed.

3. Establish your best effort immediately!

Baltimore won the coin toss and, instead of receiving the kickoff, decided to establish their will and determination with their defense on the field first.

Where can you establish your will and determination where you have been passive and predictable up until now?

4. Mistakes are costly!

On their opening drive, Baltimore’s offense was stopped on third down in 49er territory only to get another chance when a penalty was called on the 49er defense. The Ravens scored a touch down on the next play. Understand, Baltimore won by 3 points. The difference between kicking a field goal there and that touchdown was 4 points, WOW!

The 49ers were driving the ball and soon fumbled and another time threw an interception. These turnovers destroyed their momentum and kept them from establishing their will over Baltimore. Although the game was close, these turnovers and mistakes made a big differnce in the game.

Be aggressive but avoid mistakes.

5. How do you re-kindle your energy

This is an unusual one . . .

After halftime, Batimore returned a kickoff for a touchdown. They seemed like they were ready to finish the destruction of their opponent. Suddenly, the lights went out and the Ravens seemed flat when they came back out to play. On the other hand . . .

6. Use opportunities to shift momentum in your favor

San Francisco could have been ready to accept defeat but used the same 34 minute power outage to change their play.

Never cave in to negative thoughts. Use every opportunity to use the opportunities afforded to you to get ignited.

7. How can you re-kindle your energy when it is waning?

Coming out of the 34 minute power outage, San Francisco scored 17 straight points. The momentum on the field had shifted to them and it looked llike what once was an easy Baltimore victory might be turned into defeat.

Baltimore received the kick off and controlled the ball and the tempo of the game, extending their lead and putting the 49ers on notice that they would not roll over and collapse.

When you face adversity, pull yourself together and fight back!

8. It isn’t over until it is.

Both teams fought very hard down to the very end. Some fans and sportscasters point to a final incompete pass by San Francisco on which they think a penalty should have been called.

Even after that, Baltimore got the ball back, couldn’t move it and was forced to punt to the 49ers with 12 seconds left on the clock and leading by 5 points. Except, San Francisco was not prepared for the next play.

The ball was snapped back to the punter and, instead of rushing him San Francisco laid back to receive the punt and work to a long punt return. Except the Baltimore punter was prepared.

Instead of immediately kicking, he ran around the end zone for 8 seconds before giving up a safety and two points.

That left San Francisco with 4 seconds left on the clock and one play . . . receiving a free kick and trying to score a touchdown on the return. It was not to be.

Concede nothing. Fight until the end.

9. Winners find a way to win and losers have explanations and excuses for why they didn’t.

Focus on all the details that will halp you win. Be fearless. It’s OK to feel fear. Just don’t let your fear keep you from focusing on victory.

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