January 29, 2013
What career women can learn from the Seahawks
Super Bowl 2013 is Sunday, Feb. 3, and I'm not embarrassed to admit I'm a female who loves, loves, loves football, especially when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks.
My love of football developed at an early age from my mother, who can still be heard several houses away whenever cheering for her beloved Hawks. Our house serves as the local gathering place for Seahawks games, and it occurred to me how much women can learn from football when it comes to career advancement.
Here's what I mean:
Pete Carroll spends time each week with the players and other coaches, analyzing games to understand what went well and what they need to do differently. They also evaluate the next team they'll play to determine weaknesses and create their game plan. Business is also a game, so play the game like you mean it, ladies.
Even when it looks like there's no way Marshawn Lynch will succeed in getting through the defensive line, he keeps going and often pops back up on the other side of the angry mob, running for the end zone and gaining much needed rushing yards. Ladies, beast mode isn't just for football. No matter how difficult things get, don't give up.
Receiver Golden Tate gets knocked down all the time by defensive backs but gets right back up for play after play until he finally scores a touchdown. Learning from failures can propel your career forward so every time you get knocked on your butt, get right back up and try again.
Russell Wilson was a third-round draft pick, and critics said he'd never make it in the big leagues because he didn't fit the traditional stereotype requirements of a quarterback. Don't let critics negatively impact your performance -- use your unique strengths to your advantage.
Speaking of Wilson, have you ever watched him give an interview after a winning game? He knows it takes a team effort to win and always gives recognition to other players. Give credit where credit is due.
Football season may only be from September through early February, but Seahawks players stay in shape and improve themselves all year. That's because the Hawks know success requires practice year-round. After their divisional-playoff run ended with the loss to Atlanta, Hawks players were asked how long they would take off before returning to practice. Wilson's response probably summed up the feelings of the entire team: "I'll be back to work tomorrow."
I may not be a professional football player (more like a professional football watcher), but I definitely see parallels between football and the game of business. Hey, all you other dedicated Seahawks fans, what else do you think career women can learn from football?
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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