Have you ever come across a job vacancy and it encompasses everything you have been looking for in a hospitality role? But then did you continue to look through the job description and suddenly get that sinking feeling- I don’t have enough experience or the right amount of experience.
My reply to you then my friend is this- How the heck do you know!?
How on this earth do you know for certain that, based on a generic job advert, that you aren’t already the exact type of person they are looking for?
You simply cannot be sure!
Now let’s discuss:
There is no simple way to quantify an individuals’ experience, especially if looking to compare it to others. Sure some company’s ask for a set amount of years’ experience, but let’s be honest, how many people do we know that have ’worked here for years’ but have simply been coasting along on the daily turning up purely to ‘pay the bills’.
Now I don’t know about you, but I am fairly sure, if I was an employer, I would be looking more for someone with a period of experience, however long, where they can explain how they have changed and developed and what they have learnt, rather than just assuming that if they have worked somewhere for x amount of years that they are the bee knees and exactly what my company needs. I say balls to that.
Now, let’s be clear, I am not here to say that anyone is doing anything wrong by staying in a job for a while, personally, I think there is also something to be said for loyalty in this day and age. I am actually saying the complete opposite – I am saying, regardless of who you are, where you come from or what you do, you should NEVER discredit yourself and the worth you possess, you simply need to find your own way of expressing it and harnessing your unique potential.
The nature of business has changed hugely in the last 10 years, heck even the last 5 years and this year, in particular, has swiftly brought about all kinds of madness. Companies are looking for longevity and are investing in the future to ensure that they are still around in years to come and that all starts at home with recruitment. Employers are not naïve to this, they know they need to surround themselves with a solid, caring and passionate team.
Research suggests that women only apply for jobs if they meet 100% of the requirements, compared to men who are happy to apply if they only meet 60% of the requirements (Minds Capital, 2017). Now, I am not about to start discussing gender in recruitment, that is not the point, irrespective of gender, age or race, there will be countless people out there in our industry, me included, who place this absurd burden on ourselves that we have to perfectly mould to fit the criteria of a role. We struggle to take that leap of faith.
But why do we do this to ourselves?
Well isn’t that a great question and hey, it’s not one that has a straight-up answer either. But I propose the following: How we view our own value in our professional lives vastly affects our relationship with the hiring process – Irrespective of whether you are in the midst of your long-term career plan, a fresh-faced graduate or someone looking to make a career change. This takes us back to the age-old saying that you need to love yourself before you can truly love anyone else. The same can be said for our careers, if we cannot bring ourselves to take that step outside of what feels entirely safe, to strive for that job or to work for that company then we will never truly discover what we are capable of.
Experience and value are like a well-matured marriage. They have a great partnership and complement each other well, but they can also oppose each other from time to time. Our industry is a people industry, we talk and connect on a higher level to any other sector. So now is the time to stop insisting that a CV, job application or role description is solely what defines our chances of success when searching for your next career adventure.
Your experiences translate into value, but so do your thoughts, feelings, conversations and imagination. You are the only version of you on this planet and regardless of how hard anyone tries they will never be you, and that is your secret weapon. Now go and reach out for the life you want, put your stamp on the world, and share your value.
Minds Capital (2017) Why women don’t apply for jobs unless they are 100% qualified [Online]. [Accessed 26 August 2020]. Available at: < https://mindscapital.nl/why-women-dont-apply-for-jobs-unless-theyre-100-qualified/ >.