Delve into a marathon runner’s mind and land that perfect job

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Many think of the marathon as one of the most gruelling and psychologically challenging things you could do. The training goes way beyond the physical fitness as mental stamina plays a very large part in it too. At Nationwide, we know how exhausting and mentally-demanding it can be searching for a new job. So, by applying the same motivational strategy used running a marathon for the application process, we thought it would help you go that extra mile (excuse the pun).

As the London Marathon and its runners prepare for the 37th edition of the race taking place this Sunday, we decided to delve inside the mind of a long-distance runner to see what tips and advice they could share to help you land that perfect role.

Set small goals to start

Think mile by mile, not the whole race. Set small, manageable goals and once you've completed one, move onto the next. If you want to land the perfect job put in the work to perfect your CV, create the best cover letter you can and reach out to the right people. Set each small task separately and before you know it you'll be at the end of the race.

Tell your inner voice to stay positive

Your inner voice can make or break a marathon. The same applies to an interview or even just the process of applying for a new job. When your inner voice starts to say: “You can't do it” or “You're not good enough”, tell yourself “No, I can!” Keep yourself thinking positively, either by reciting positive messages to yourself, or by counting or keeping a song in your head that distracts you and keeps negative thoughts out. Remember, it’s all about a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA).

Try visualising success

Imagine crossing that finish line to a crowd of happy people. Or in your case, imagine walking out of an interview feeling like you've smashed it and getting that all-important call from the interviewer to say you've got the job. Now keep that image in your mind, it will keep you acting confidently and positively.

Practice hitting that wall

Marathon runners talk about hitting the wall. This is the point in the race when they feel they just can't carry on, to the point that they feel as if they've hit a physical wall. When it comes to attending interviews, answering the harder questions and stumbling on your answers, it can feel like you've hit your own wall. Predict that this might happen and practice the bad bits. Practice the questions that have made you stumble in the past and come up with answers that will blow the interviewer away.

Find a routine to suit you

On race day, runners will have a set routine to start them off in the right frame of mind. These rituals are used by many sports people to calm themselves down before a big event. Take this insight and use it before going to an interview. Whatever routine you create for yourself, keep it consistent.

Beat the boredom

Boredom is a huge problem for marathon runners: 26 soul-crushing miles that seem to never end. The process of applying for jobs can sometimes seem just as hard. Staying motivated and not giving into the boredom can be a struggle, especially with so many distractions around you. So, the answer is to take yourself away from your usual distracting surroundings and find somewhere quiet to focus your mind on selling yourself via your CV and application.

With these tips under your belt, we hope you now feel more confident to take on any challenge. Unfortunately, it’s too late to run in this year’s London marathon, but there’s always next year?

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a new role or career and like the sound of Nationwide, why not look at our latest positions.

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