My company name, Pathfinder, came about from a shared love for hiking and backpacking with my husband.
Now, before you think I’m one of those seriously ripped hikers, I’m not. Bad knees (including a partially torn ACL) and weak ankles, combined with an aggravating ability to frequently stumble and fall make hiking difficult for me. But the rewards are worth it. Because of this hobby, I’ve gotten to see some amazing things.
This past weekend, we went backpacking in the spectacular Three Sisters Wilderness in Central Oregon, which has multiple 8,000 foot-plus peaks clustered in close proximity. Long story short, my creaky legs were holding up pretty good, the weather was spectacular, and we were in fine spirits. So we managed to crank out 33 miles in 2 days. While carrying full backpacks.
That trip, like a job search, wasn’t easy.
There’s baggage that is on your back, weighting you down every step of the way.
The decisions of what is being carried in that backpack can have serious implications on how the trip turns out (did I bring enough food? Do I have enough water?).
There were several points in the trip where the goal seems so high and out of reach that it seemed impossible to achieve.
The path, at times, got a little fuzzy, and can sometimes lead to uncharted territory.
But you know what?
Again, like a job search, setting a goal when backpacking means keeping going until you reach your destination. No matter how tired, dispirited, or negative you feel about the process.
It always boils down to putting one foot in front of the other. Again and again and again.
That’s what I did when we were heading off-trail and cross country – trying to make a beeline for a saddle between two peaks to complete our circuit around Broken Top Mountain. The ridge kept going on and on and on…. I was afraid it would never end as we clambered up higher and higher.
But by keeping going, through mile 12, 13, and 14, I finally got there. The views were awesome. Mind-blowingly beautiful. But I wasn’t done yet. By the time we reached the car, I had clocked in nearly 23 miles of hiking in one day. My body was toast.
But you know what? After I got some much needed water and food, I started to feel a sense of accomplishment that I had pushed myself. Hard.
And achieved my goals as a result.
That’s the mental toughness you need to adopt when in a job search. Be fierce. Be determined.
It will pay off. As long as you keep going.