“A tradition unlike any other.”

Whether you are a golf fan or not, the tagline for golf’s most prestigious tournament is likely ingrained in your head thanks to commercial after commercial featuring legendary broadcaster Jim Nantz.

As one of the most watched tournaments in golf kicks off, a look back at the last few years of winners presents a common theme—with the right preparation, anyone can win this event. Dating back to 2007, only one golfer—Bubba Watson—has won The Masters twice. On top of that, the winning golfer has represented bigger countries (like the United States) and smaller ones like South Africa.

With recent surprises like Danny Willett coming out of nowhere to win The Masters in 2016, it shows that preparation and being ready for the moment are two key elements when it comes to winning in sports. Here’s a secret, those elements are extremely important when it comes to your job search and advancing in your career as well.

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”

Whenever talking about preparation and practice, I am reminded of this quote from legendary NFL head coach, Vince Lombardi (yes, I know this article started out about The Masters but come on, it is a Lombardi quote). This quote can apply to everything you do in life, but it has extra meaning when it comes to preparing for your career.

In today’s digital world, people seem to have gotten lazy when it comes to their approach to searching for jobs. With so many convenient options to apply for a job while sitting on a couch, many job seekers are not putting in the effort to learn about the organization and job they are applying for. They see a job description they like or a title they think they should have, and boom—with the click of a button the can use the same old resume to apply for it.

The problem with this process is there is no preparation or practice.

In the past, you would learn about what a company is looking for through research and attempt to craft a resume and cover letter tailored to that position. While you were filling out resumes, cover letters and applications for a chance to hopefully get an interview, you were practicing for the big moment without even thinking about it.

After you land the job, preparation and practice are a daily occurrence. You will need to prepare for every presentation, client meeting and project you need to execute. There may be bumps in the road, but the more you practice getting it right—the better you will be when the time comes to execute and win!

“Success in golf depends less on strength of body more on strength of mind and character.”

When it comes to being ready for the moment in your job search or career, Arnold Palmer put it best with the above quote. Those with a strong mind and strong character will experience success in their job search or advancing in their career.

Being mentally prepared is one of the most, if not the most, important traits someone can have in any field. If your mind is strong, you will find a way to overcome any obstacle to get the job done—just like when you were playing sports. A strong mind can help you overcome pain, help quiet any lack of confidence and help drown out the “noise” from outsiders trying to deter you from achieving your goals.

So as you take in The Masters this weekend and enjoy some of the amazing golf being played, remember that all of the hard work and effort you are appreciated was cultivated through countless hours of practice and preparation to be ready for the big event. If you want to succeed in your career like these golfers are succeeding in theirs, you have to be willing to put in the work!

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