how do you land the most competitive job?

My son is competing for the opportunity to have the chance to land the most difficult job in the entire world--to become a Navy SEAL. He was about to participate in a weekend screener that would evaluate his ability to endure and succeed in the harsh training environment of the Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL course (BUD/S). The objective of the screener was to whittle down the applicants from 90 to 60 individuals which would eventually be reduced to 30 by the end of his senior year at the Naval Academy. He called me up to ask what he should focus on. I told him the answer was easy and he could use this recipe for any competitive endeavor he would ever face in his life-PREPARATION/WORK ETHIC/TEAM.


There is no job worth having that doesn’t require focused and disciplined PREPARATION to earn the position. Whether it be through education, skill development or apprenticeship, YOU must do the research and ask for coaching to put together an organized training plan with defined goals and timelines. Then, it’s ultimately up to YOU to complete the plan and prepare yourself for the challenge. Showing up unprepared is completely unacceptable and most likely leads to a failed attempt to land the job.


The area that will set YOU apart from your competitors will be your WORK ETHIC. Your commitment to hard work and daily excellence should be evident in everything YOU do from preparing your resume to practicing for the interview. If given an opportunity to “tryout” for the position, YOU should demonstrate a level of effort that is above and beyond the rest. Work ethic also includes a “no quit” attitude to complete every task with the same vigor and resolve no matter how mundane or inconsequential. I guarantee the evaluation team or hiring board will notice your peerless commitment, courage and competence and it will be rewarded with an invitation to join their team.


The most noticed and the hardest area to focus on is to demonstrate your resolve for team success. Although you are competing for the job as an individual, YOU must never let team fall out of your cross-check. No matter what organization, business or group YOU are trying to join, the key element is whether YOU can be a self-less, value-added teammate. Your compassion and character will be front and center in evaluating your commitment to TEAM.

If you haven’t noticed yet, YOU are ultimately responsible for your success. Individuals that are the most prepared, work the hardest and think of team first will prevail no matter what job you’re competing for-Go for it!

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