I have coached many people over the years who are trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. If you are lucky enough to have figured it out – don’t let anything get in your way, especially yourself.
We all have the internal message that says something negative to discourage us from trying. Now I am not promising a quick and easy transition, but I will assure you of improved odds if you can answer yes to the following three questions.
1. Can you move beyond “yes, no, yes, no?”
When you read a job description, do you say, “Yes I have done that, No I haven’t done that, Yes, I have done that”? It is natural to think that way, but it will only lead to not applying. We all have skills and experience that go beyond the words used to describe the duties of a job. A better way to read a job description is to read the requirements, and think, “I have done that, I know I could do that easily, I can learn to do that by…” Figure out how close you are and how to get closer with a little effort.
2. Can you connect the dots?
How do you explain how you got to where you are? More importantly, can you express how that leads you to where you want to go next? Show how your experiences translate into the skills needed for the next position. If you have gaps, be aware of them. Look for opportunities to gain the missing experience by volunteering or taking a course. The action will speak volumes to your desire to progress and give you confidence during the interview.
3. Do you know your worth?
Most people think they shouldn’t care much about compensation when it’s their dream job, but it’s very important that you understand how much your skills are worth. Watch your phrasing when asked about desired salary. Instead of “I’m looking for X amount per year.” Try, “My minimum salary requirement is X amount per year.” Just those few words make all the difference in the confidence you convey. If they are hesitant, get creative. Offer a trial or training period for 3 – 6 months at a lower salary and once you prove yourself on the job – it increases to an agreed upon higher rate. Don’t leave that increase ambiguous. Show them you know what you’re worth and will prove it.