The Olympics have come and gone yet again until the next games in Tokyo in 2020. In recent weeks we have watched athletes from all over the world compete in their chosen sport at the highest level, and experience both the agony and the ecstasy of either success or defeat. We saw a range of emotional responses – from elation and joy, gratitude and relief, to shock, disbelief and even despair. All of the athletes had been preparing to compete at these games for years, both physically and mentally, but unfortunately there can only be one winner on the day.

For those who finish in anything other than first place, there’s a choice to make once the race is over and the emotion is passed – will they make changes in order to get better results, or will they continue with their programme unchanged? There has been much speculation about what factors may have contributed to Australia’s unexpectedly low medal tally, and time will tell if there is a case to answer. Not surprisingly, nothing changes if nothing changes, so my guess is that unless the AOC finds ways of doing things differently in the future, maybe we will see similar results in Tokyo.

Applying for a job is in many ways like competing in the Olympics. The job you are applying for is equivalent with that coveted gold medal. Just like the athletes who receive silver, bronze or are unplaced in their event are able to choose to make changes to improve their future performance, an unsuccessful jobseeker also has the opportunity to choose to make changes to their future applications, in order to improve their job prospects.

Athletes may look to draw on, and glean from the expertise of another coach, or find new strategies and techniques that will streamline and improve their performance. Jobseekers may need to look at how they present themselves, both in writing and in person. A new “coach” may also be of value here. If what you’ve been doing isn’t getting the results you want, then maybe it’s time to do things differently. Even the smallest changes can affect the outcome.

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