Are you waiting too long to go for the job you really want?
Do you have the desire to pursue a promotion, or a new job, but for some reason you keep hesitating? If you’re like most women, there are probably a few different reasons swirling around in your head about why you should wait to apply. You’re not alone. An internal Hewlett Packard report found that:
So why the chasm between how men and women approach this? Tara Sophia Mohr wrote an article for Harvard Business Review that gives us some very important insights into why women aren’t applying as quickly as men.
The top three reasons she uncovered:
- I didn’t think they would hire me since I didn’t meet all the qualifications, and I didn’t want to waste my time and energy.
- I didn’t think they would hire me since I didn’t meet the qualifications and I didn’t want to put myself out there if I was likely to fail.
- I was following the guidelines about who should apply
As you see, none of these reasons have anything to do with a women’s confidence about if she could do the job. Mohr states, “All three of these barriers, which together account for 78% of women’s reasons for not applying, have to do with believing that the job qualifications are real requirements, and seeing the hiring process as more by-the-book and true to the on-paper guidelines than it really is.”
Mohr also shares insights as to why we as women feel this way. An important insight that many of us may not have considered:
“Girls are strongly socialized to follow the rules and in school are rewarded again and again, for doing so. In part, girl’s greater success in school (relative to boys) arguably can be attributed to their better rule following. Then in their careers, that rule-following habit has real costs, including when it comes to adhering to the guidelines about “who should apply.”
Time for Action
Now that you know you are probably waiting too long, let’s talk about how to overcome the potential barrier of not being 100% qualified.
- Gain an intimate understanding of your strengths. Think about things that come naturally to you. Think about the times when you’ve been in the zone. When time seems to fly because you love what you’re doing.
- Have specific examples of results you’ve created or contributed to. Think about specific instances throughout your career where you have been instrumental in creating positive results. Remember times when you or the team you worked with had big wins. Write down all the ways in which you contributed to the positive results achieved so you can speak to them in an interview. Quantify your results whenever possible.
- Get clear on why you want this new position. What do you love about the work you do, and want to do? When you get excited about yourself and your work, it will be contagious. Excitement is a great way to help build rapport in your interview. Yes, this is possible even if you’re an introvert!
- Get clear on the needs of the manager you are interviewing with. Instead of focusing on yourself and what you should say, shift your focus to the person and company with whom you are interviewing. What are their urgent needs and how can you contribute to their success?
- Visualize yourself in that position. Take time to visualize how you would like to feel in this new role. Then visualize the specific objectives you would like to accomplish. Would you improve production? Improve employee engagement? Improve customer service? And how would this improve your life? Would you have more income? Would you have more opportunities to make a difference? Would you love going to work?
- Go for it. Which simply means, go for it!
The truth is, you probably already have everything you need to be the ideal candidate for the job you want.
During my seventeen-year career in the biotech and pharmaceutical world, I watched numerous women wait too long to go for promotions and leadership roles. These were incredibly talented, savvy business women that would have thrived in leadership roles. Instead, I watched them work harder, put in longer hours, seek more certifications and awards, and put in their “time” until they believed they were 100% qualified for the promotion they wanted, and deserved. And while there are some job postings for which all the qualifications are a must, (for instance, having the post-nominal letters “MD” if you are applying to be a doctor) there are many more positions and examples where the job posting qualifications are simply an “ideal”, not all must haves.
It is time for women to change the way we look at when and how we go for the jobs we really want!
If, in reading this post, you feel you could use help discovering and understanding the true value you have to offer a future employer, verbalizing your value in an interview, or learning powerful strategies to uncover a hiring manager’s true needs, (to get to the heart of the matter instead of focusing on the long list of qualifications,) I’d love to help. Schedule a complimentary consultation with me today!