Job search, career development, and life planning are serious business. But the Super Bowl is coming, so we have play on our minds. Luckily, there are lessons from playing games that can be applied. One such lesson is the necessity of offense. Good defense may contribute to a win, but even if a team keeps its opponents from scoring, it still has to itself score in order to win. Success should focus on winning (i.e., offense), not just not losing.
Next week, will we see a team choose to run instead of pass to avoid an interception, instead of picking the best tactic to score points? In baseball, the sport I prefer, I’d rather see a pitcher get beat with his best pitch or a batter go down swinging.
In job searches, you see a lack of offense when people focus foremost on what’s available – what industries are hiring, what jobs are suitable to their skills. Playing offense requires that you focus foremost on what you want and then focus on getting it. It’s a risk if your desired industry is not hiring or if you need to augment current skills. But the win is getting what you want and not just settling.
In careers, you see a lack of offense when people decline challenges – e.g., turn down a high visibility project, postpone a job switch. Playing offense requires that you take shots at your goals.
In life, you see a lack of offense when people do not follow their dreams. You may want a different life – a different career, more family time, new friends, a new location. Playing offense requires that you move in the direction of your dreams. If everything remains status quo, you may protect yourself against failure, but you also preclude yourself from success.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is the co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com).