Idea in short

You have got the the job that you've always dreamed of - either through a prospective application or the so-called 'Vitamin C' (connections). However, there is only one problem: you are under-qualified for it! What can you do now?

When a company makes a job offer, rest assured that it requires precisely those competencies that you already demonstrated. Furthermore, the chemistry can already work in your favour. Companies value competences and attitude more than other factors. Perhaps, you had demonstrated leadership, software, language, or computer skills better than the other candidates.  However, some candidates feel that they’re under qualified for their new role. Here are a few tips to bolster your confidence in such a scenario.

Preserve self-confidence

Nelson Mandela and Donald Trump made it clear that despite their backgrounds as lawyers and managers. However, they suddenly slipped into the position of the Heads of State. Their previous career experiences did not prepare them for these new positions of power and responsibility. These figures of state demonstrate how strategic skills could be acquired. Nevertheless, you need to familiarise yourself with the new situation. If necessary, hire competent persons you trust from your own professional network. Be aware of the gaps in your experience. Otherwise, your employees could create problems that work against you.

On the job training

The first weeks can help you make a good impression. This is especially true if you are not on a more senior level. Use the limited time to work diligently and tirelessly into the subject using experts’ advice. If you lack knowledge in a specific area, work during the evenings to fill those gaps. If necessary, enlist your colleagues and supervisors to help you get up to speed. Note, however, that the willingness of your colleagues and supervisors to hand hold you will slowly start to decrease after some time. Subsequently, your colleagues will perceive you as either disrespectful or unable to perform the duties expected of you. As a result, you should be able to deliver in your role as quickly as you can.

Continuous learning

Today’S work culture requires both, flexibility and constant professional development for career success. In the previous decades, it was customary  to stick to one’s vocation up to retirement. However, in today’s job-hopping world, skill requirements mandate constant ongoing learning and professional development. In today’s globalised job market, the basic competences you learned at the university are insufficient. Skills acquired from previous professions and education can get you started. But, you should develop additional qualifications for career advancement. Take advantage of the skill development and learning activities your organisation offers. Alternatively, engage in private education to transfer your methodical, analytical, or creative approach to the new tasks.

Give yourself a chance

Ask yourself whether the salesmen or politicians are well qualified in their domains. Perhaps they had just been promoted to a new role or freshly recruited. In such cases, the knowledge gaps will be visible. So, think positively and view your new role as a challenge to overcome. In the beginning, you may be under-qualified. But, give yourself a chance not to stay so for too long. Every new company and role requires a certain amount of ramp up time before you can perform well in the new role. So, close the knowledge gaps as quickly as possible. This requires professional experience and willingness to seriously deal with your new tasks and responsibilities.

Summary

Finding your skill gaps, either during or after the job application process, in a structured manner could be challenging. Download the Xpose tool to compare your skills against those expected by the organisation you are applying (or have applied) to.