Growing up, dance was a huge part of my life.
Outside of school, I spent the majority of my time at the studio. I ate there, did my homework there, and my dance teachers probably saw me more than my family did at that time. I learned plenty of transferable skills through dance that helped in many aspects of my life, but in particular, it really prepared me for the trials and tribulations of job hunting. Here are a few ways that dance helped prepare me for my job hunt.
Self-discipline is a critical skill to possess when job hunting. It’s what keeps you motivated to push yourself until you get where you want to be. Dance taught me that if you want something enough, you have to work your butt off to get it – advice that can be applied to many aspects of life, but especially to your job hunt. Job hunting isn’t an easy task and the only way you’re going to excel is to put yourself out there and keep going, even when you feel like giving up.
Dealing with Rejection
It’s not to say that you shouldn’t be disappointed when you’re rejected – you’re human, and you will probably feel disappointed at some point during the job hunting process. I’ve been disappointed countless times when I was rejected from my dream job, or worse, never actually heard back from them. However, my years of being a dancer taught me how to deal with this rejection and use it as fuel. After being told time and time again I wasn’t good enough –not being chosen for solo performances, or not winning first place at a competition – I learned that sitting around sulking wasn’t going to help me reach my goal. What I needed to do was keep practicing and honing my skills so I could achieve better results in the future.
Dance, like many hobbies, taught me that you won’t get very far if you lack passion. This is especially true when you’re looking for a job. Finding employment can be challenging, and if you’re not excited by the idea of working in a particular field, it can be hard to stay motivated. Having passion for your industry and career will help you get through those countless hours of searching, applying, and interviewing for jobs, and unfortunately at times, being rejected.
After years of competing and remembering a dozen different routines, I have fine-tuned my ability to manage stress, and it is a skill that has been beneficial in life and during my job hunt. For instance, job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but being able to stay cool under pressure will help you appear more confident and capable to the hiring manager.
Setting goals and taking the time to analyze them will give you a better understanding of your dream and what you need to do to get yourself there. Just like in dance, when I gave myself goals—whether it was to master certain steps, or win a competition—I was more determined to stick to them and work towards them, and keep trying until I made them happen.
Dance was something that had a bigger impact on my life than I ever imagined! Even though I didn’t end up pursuing it as a career, all the time and work I invested in it helped me build valuable skills that not only helped me land a job upon graduation – they also helped me become the professional I am today.
The next time you’re looking for a job, think about what life skills you’ve developed in other areas and apply them to your search. You might be surprised by the strengths you have that you can harness to find your dream job!