Hello SOTGC community,
A few years ago I found myself bidding on a job that I thought was quite far out of reach. I was going for a Marketing Communications job that required strong verbal and written communication skills as well as the ability to be detail-oriented, read proofs and overall have a good sense of English grammar. On the other side, there was me…just finishing up my BS in Marketing and Management: young, inexperienced, and above all a German citizen with English as my third language.
In my mind, there was no way I was applying for that job; not until I had a conversation with my “gitt.” A gitt is a person that pushes you beyond your limits, almost to the point of anger. They are in your face asking WHY, WHY, WHY (Note, kids sometimes can do that for you as well). In my case, my gitt was also foreign so he could relate easily to my excuses, but he mentioned that it never stopped him from pursuing things. So after I ran out of excuses as to why I was not qualified for the job, he asked when I was applying for it. I couldn’t believe it took another person to tell me that I may not have all of the qualifications, but I certainly have half of them, and above all I have the will.
I applied and not only did I get an interview, but I also got the job. I remember the day like it was yesterday, jumping up and down, smiling, crying because I got the job that felt once so far away.
So what made the difference? Was it my extracurricular, my enthusiasm or maybe there was nobody else that applied?
I found my answer quite a bit later. It wasn’t anything that would have been obvious. The answer was ‘potential.’ I exhibited the potential to excel in that position because I brought the right amount of curiosity, motivation to understand the job and the strength of mind to succeed.
I knew this was something I would have to grow into because I did not graduate with a communications degree, but somehow others knew I would stretch my capabilities and acquire new skills. Sometimes it is less about what you know and how much you know, but instead it is about showing the willingness to want something.
I believe Sheryl Sandberg quoted in her book that women tend to undersell themselves and they don’t bid on a job because in their minds they don’t hit all the qualifications that are required. Instead of making up excuses as to why we shouldn’t get something, let’s start by making reasons as why we should get it and just maybe then our potential will come through.
We all have to start somewhere and though we enjoy becoming experts in our respective fields, we also first had to learn them. I believe college is not about teaching us everything we need to know for our jobs, but instead it is about preparing us for what this big world has to offer.
I encourage all of you to join the SOTGC family so we can all support and cheer each other on so we can reach for the top. Sometimes dreams come one size too big so we can simply grow into them. Tell us what you will go for.