Find the courage to apply for roles you have no business applying for.
– you may not have all the experience required
– it’s a big step up from your current role
– despite this, you believe it’s a good fit for you and you’d be good
3 things are likely to happen:
1) you’ll surprise yourself, get through to interview, get offered the job.
2) you’ll surprise yourself, get through to interview and not get the job. You’ll learn a big lesson about the interview process, and what is required to focus on. You’ll be better prepared next time.
3) you get ignored – nothing lost, nothing gained, it wasn’t meant for you. Move on to the next.
Either way, apply!
I did this myself earlier this year. While I was still a senior dev with no formal managerial experience, I applied for an engineering manager role with a tech stack I’d never used, that had a 7 stage interview process, and 4 of their interviews were crammed into one afternoon with only 5 minutes break.
Made it to the 7th stage, and then got told I didn’t get the job :-(. I was ready to retire after that lol, the process was so exhausting.
I learnt so much from that process.
I learnt that:
– I can do most things that are thrown at me that are outside of my comfort zone.
– I know more than I think I do, and that I give myself credit for
– I’m already a leader, even if I wasn’t in a formal leadership role when I applied.
– My voluntary experience is just as powerful as any formal experience. Don’t discount that website or mobile app you developed for your church or a local charity, as it’s still a product you shipped and is being used. Don’t dismiss that tech event you organised with a team that you brought together, to deliver workshops for 25+ to learn how to code. Don’t forget about that talk you did in front of an audience of 10 – 100+ (it doesn’t actually matter how many people were there), to share your knowledge on a new technology you are interested in and helped influence the direction of a project.
You have plenty to talk about in an interview from all the experience that you have had without being in a formal role related to the job you are applying for.
– It doesn’t matter if you don’t have experience with the tech stack used by the company you are applying for. Learning one programming language well, you can pretty much work out other languages.
– Thank God for all the times I had to pair with colleagues on a coding task in the past and hated it. Little did I know it was preparing me for having to pair with someone I have never met before.
Ok I didn’t get the job, I sobbed and let go of that pretty quickly. But I got so much more out of applying and failing to get an offer.
Don’t give up, the right role and company is out there for you. Hopefully won’t make you go through 7 stages of nonsense to prove you are good enough. Remember no matter what the outcome, there is always something to learn.
photo credit: wocintechchat
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