Why you should apply for that job (even if you’re not ready)

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A JOB POSTING LANDS IN YOUR INBOX AND YOUR HEART SKIPS A BEAT.

This is your job – it’s the EXACT position you’ve been working towards but hadn’t dared hoped would come up…it’s sooner than you thought you were ready for.

You read further and start getting a little giddy–you know you could kick-ass in this position. But you don’t meet all the requirements. What do you do?

If you’re a man, chances are you apply. If you’re part of the other 50% of the population….well, most likely you close the email with a sigh and keep looking for something you’re actually qualified to do.

A Hewlett Packard internal report revealed that women in the company only applied for promotions when they were certain they met 100% of the required qualifications.

In contrast, men were likely to apply if they met just 60% of the criteria.

When asked for their reasons for not applying, women stated they didn’t want to waste anyone’s time when they weren’t qualified. They were afraid of over-reaching.

IT’S TIME FOR THIS TO STOP.

Except for requiring very specific certifications to do a job (you probably want a surgeon who’s graduated medical school, for example), there’s no reason to expect that just because you’re lacking a Master’s degree, your very valid and very recent work experience in a relevant field isn’t good enough.

Employers have a list of expertise and skills they feel is required for their new employee to do their best work.

But for the right person, those skills and experience can often be learned on the job. Evidence of excellent communication skills, problem-solving abilities and a demonstrated eagerness and ability to quickly learn and excel at new skills can be just as valuable to an employer looking to hire the right person.

Even more so, because you bring fresh new ideas to the table, and have no learned bad habits to break.

The question you should ask yourself is not, ‘can I check off all of the posting’s qualifications?’, but ‘can I do the job?’. If you can honestly answer ‘yes’ to the latter, then beef up your resume and interview game, and frame the relevant skills and experience you do have in an irresistible light.

YOU’RE SCARED TO APPLY. I THINK YOU SHOULD APPLY ANYWAY.

What’s the worst that can happen?

  1. You apply and don’t get an interview.
  2. The interview happens but you aren’t moved forward.
  3. After making it all the way to the end of the hiring process they give the job to someone else.
  4. The interview is a complete train wreck and you embarrass yourself spectacularly.
  5. You get hit by a bus crossing the street.

Except for your freak vehicular demise (and really, what are the odds?), the consequences aren’t so dire.

Yes, you’ve wasted some time, effort, and maybe even endured some moments of intense mortification (though with some prep work, this is usually a non-issue).

But effort spent is a lesson learned, and your embarrassing misstep will make for an entertaining story, once enough time has passed. And you could still get the job.

The worst that can happen if you don’t even try? You settle. Nothing. Ever. Changes.

Trying – even with the possibility of failure – doesn’t seem so bad in comparison.

P.S. If you’re feeling less than 100% secure in your job search game, you MUST watch Brené Brown’s Netflix Special: The Call To Courage. It’s a game changer.