Two lessons from the Grand Canyon: Preparation and Perseverance

As we head into the holiday season, some
candidates may lighten up on the job search. Perhaps they think that companies are not hiring now or they don’t want to start a new job and immediately take vacation days. Don’t let up! Companies are hiring now and through the holidays. Many companies have recently begun a new fiscal year in October with renewed budget allowances. Other companies are ramping up for projects beginning in the new year requiring staff to be in place by January. As a staffing firm, the fourth quarter each year is one of our more productive quarters. As a candidate, you should not abandon the job search just because of the holiday season. Be prepared for when that perfect position opens up. If there are obstacles for you to overcome, don’t let that slow you down.

Og Mandino once said, “I will persist until I succeed. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.”

Recently, we were reminded of those lessons as we ventured to hike the Grand Canyon. In the pre-dawn, crisp autumn air, we secured our headlamps and began our journey through the marvelous gorge in northern Arizona. Our goal was to hike from the south rim, to the north rim, and back to the south rim. As avid hikers, it wasn’t difficult for us to prepare for this challenge. We enjoy going on long hikes on Saturday mornings in the hills near our home. Nevertheless, we did our homework and got our legs (and lungs) in shape for the intense exertion to which they were about to be subjected. Preparation is the key to making it out alive!


Traversing the canyon with good friends made the hike enjoyable, but it was not without its obstacles. The rain on the hike to the north made the trail muddy and very slippery. But the rain turned out to be a blessing as we hiked up to the north rim. It kept the temperature nice and cool as we ascended the 5,761 feet from the bottom. As a bonus, the rain provided some of the most amazing waterfalls right on the trail that are not typically there!

canyon-waterfall-2Just as we benefited as we pushed through the rain, as you push through the holidays you will find that your odds in the job search pool will increase. Many other candidates stop searching during this time of year, so your chances of finding that right position are much better. Those who stopped on the trail due to the rain missed the beautiful, natural waterfalls. Don’t miss out on that potential beautiful opportunity.


Exhausted, hungry, wet and cold, we made it out of the canyon. Your search could be become exhausting as well. Be sure to sharpen your saw throughout the process by doing online training, attending networking events and enjoying some time outdoors. The job is your goal but sanity is your priority. Take time to enjoy the beautiful things, like this sunset as seen from the North Rim.

Fueled up and rested up, we were ready to hit the trail bright and early the next day. We had just traveled 21 miles across this great divide and it was time to head back and do it all again. Were we ready? This was going to be the real challenge. But we were prepared! Although somewhat fatigued, our bodies were capable of making the journey because we had trained them to be.

The 14 miles back down were simply beautiful, but then came the 9.5 mile hike out. Due to the heavy rain and subsequent flash floods, we encountered multiple rock slides and washed out sections of the trail. At some points, you couldn’t even tell where the trail had been. But we persevered. Over the rocks, through the washes, traversing up the endless switchbacks we climbed. Sometimes it felt like a struggle to put one foot in front of the other, but with a healthy dose of determination and some very helpful energy gels, we powered up to the top! Victory!

As we prepared for this hike and overcame the obstacles that confronted us in the Canyon, similarly you too can be ready when that job opportunity arises. You may get shot down a time or two, you may not be the perfect fit for the first few companies you interview with, but never give up, especially during the holidays. Those who persevere with the job search through the holidays will be rewarded.

“Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.” Zig Ziglar.

Victor Hugo reminded us, “Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.”

Happy holidays and best of luck to you in your job search!