The Simple Reason Why You’re Missing Out on the Best Jobs

In just the last three weeks, I’ve had multiple people tell me that they’ve shied away from applying to particular jobs.

What were the jobs? Ones for which they didn’t meet 100% of the desired qualifications or experience.

They assumed that applying for jobs where they don’t meet all the qualifications would automatically be a waste of time because they’d be rejected. Even if they met 60% or more of the requirements. Even if they were excited about the job opportunity or it was the best next step to take for their career.

As humans, we have a tendency to undervalue and over-criticize ourselves. That little voice in your head bombards you with thoughts that make you second-guess everything. If you’ve been overlooked by management for professional development opportunities or passed over for a promotion, it’s not surprising that your confidence may have waned. But the biggest mistake you’re making is assuming that it reflects on who you are as a person.

Perhaps it simply means that your skills and talents are better suited elsewhere. Therefore, the best thing you can do to grow your career right now is not passing by jobs because of how you believe someone else will judge you.

What should you do if you want to apply for a job but don’t meet all the desired qualifications?

  • Can you fulfill at least 60% of what the company is looking for in the role?
  • If yes, then it’s time to evaluate your transferable skills.
  • Highlight those transferable skills, using the company’s language from the job description, in your cover letter and resume.

Even if those points make sense, you might still have reservations or feel unsure of where to start. Speak with your colleagues about your skills, network with professionals at companies where you wish to apply or enlist the help of a career counselor to find the best ways to market yourself.

Whatever you choose, it’s time to tell the little voice in your head to shush because you’re making moves!

My Career Path Origin Story: How the Great Recession Became an Unexpected Turning Point

As a millennial, I’ve been defined by the Great Recession.

In the summer of 2008, I sat in my cubicle in the HR department of a federal defense agency and watched President Bush make the announcement about the economic collapse.

In that moment, I flashed back to hearing my English teacher say the words “what do you mean a plane hit the World Trade Center?” as his daughter spoke frantically to him over the phone.

I’m certainly not trying to equate the lives lost to terrorism with a financial meltdown, but these are events which have shaped the lives of most of us millennials. The impact causes you to reevaluate the things you once took for granted and make you view your life trajectory through a different lens.

When I graduated college less than a year after the president’s announcement, I was entering a world and career situation for which higher education never prepared me. I was applying to entry-level positions that should have been mine for the taking, but instead had me in candidate pools competing with those who had 20 years experience.

After several months, I knew it was time to declare defeat on the traditional job search. The rejections became too much. I decided to take the advice of one of my African Studies professors. She suggested that I explore national service. I opted to apply for positions through AmeriCorps VISTA, the national service program that requires a college degree.

I was accepted for a one year appointment doing volunteer matching for a program that supported ex-offenders. Not only did I end up matching volunteers to various projects and mentorship with the program participants, but I also wrote resumes with the clients and helped them do job search.

That’s the origin story of my career counseling path. The Great Recession actually became a turning point and in a round about way determined what I’ve ended up devoting my professional life to doing.

What events both global and personal have defined you and ended up being major turning points?