05/25/2016 Steph Anderson

Keep climbing: What job searchers can learn from Mount Everest mountaineers

Photo by Mark Stone, Eddie Bauer Blog

As fresh blooms and a warming climate sweep across the United States, you’re probably dreaming of relaxed days outdoors. On the other side of the world in Nepal, however, spring inspires dreamers of a different kind. That’s because spring is prime time for ambitious climbers to tackle Mount Everest.

Even if you have no desire to conquer Everest yourself, it’s fascinating to learn about other people’s journey to reach the peak. The skill, preparation and patience required to attempt the climb is astonishing. Climbers risk their lives to tackle this mountain; in fact, four people have already died on Everest this season. I’ve been following two well-known mountaineers on Snapchat (everestnofilter) during their preparations for their summit push without oxygen. One just completed the journey and the other turned back due to the cold. Their perseverance is amazing.

The ups and downs of the climb have many parallels to job hunting. No matter the circumstances that lead you to a job search, when you approach it with perseverance, care and dedication, you are going to have more success — just like the climbers looking to cross Everest off their bucket list.

Train and prepare

To attempt Everest, you need to be well trained. Proper preparation is essential to reach your goals, whether they be reaching a mountain’s peak or landing a new job. While it’s tempting to dive right into a climb or job search, doing so can be a recipe for disaster. For job seekers, it’s important to take the time to update your resume, reflect on what type of job you want, determine your non-negotiables and set up job-alert emails. LinkUp’s 5-step job search is a great guide for getting started.

Beware the weather

The conditions have to be just right in order for climbers to attempt Everest. When job searching, it’s important to assess whether the “weather” is right for pursuing a new job. What are your current life circumstances? Is now a good time to get a new job? Are there advancement opportunities at your current place of employment? Are you seeking new employment for the right reasons or are you just temporarily dissatisfied? Consider the current outlook to ensure sunny skies are in the forecast.

Be patient

Everest climbers will go up and down to various elevations on the mountain multiple times before even attempting the summit. Job searching is a similar roller coaster. Sometimes you’ll apply and not hear back. Other times, you’ll have a great networking conversation but no opportunities will be available. Perhaps you’ll interview but you won’t be the right candidate. Whatever the case, you must be patient and persevere. When it’s the right job for you, you’ll climb through base camp (application), camp one (phone interview), camp two (in-person interview), camp three (reference check), camp four (background check), and then finally the summit (the offer).

Find your Sherpa

No matter how good a climber is, he or she is going to work with a Sherpa to ensure a safe and successful climb. For job seekers, leveraging the right resources is just as important during the search. Call on your network for help and reach out to old colleagues, friends and family. People can be great resources in a job search and most enjoy helping others reach their goals; you simply need to ask.

Celebrate the summit

After what feels like endless planning and a marathon journey, the best mountaineers get to enjoy the breathtaking view at Everest’s summit. When you finally reach the summit of your job search by getting and accepting an offer, take time to celebrate. Enjoy the view and get ready for the next big chapter in your life.