Is your lack of industry experience wrongfully taking you out of the running for the right position?
Posted by Molly Wendell // in Job Search
Three times in the last month I’ve been asked if I’m a medical doctor. Those in question were not run-of-the-mill citizens. They were medical professionals. Nurses, physicians – those with a more than cursory knowledge of the medical field. If you knew me, you’d find this humorous. If you knew how much I loathed Biology in college, you’d find this hilarious. Who could possibly think I was a doctor? I wasn’t even wearing a white coat!
How did this happen? Well, in the past month (let alone the last year), I’ve learned more about ventricular tachycardia (VT) than the average person. In fact, I think I’ve learned more about VT than most medical professionals. My dad has been dealing with VT pretty significantly. And when I’m around the experts, I want answers. So I ask lots of questions. And each series of questions gets me a little bit more informed than the last. Well, that and a lot of research on the internet! It’s gotten to a point where I actually sound like I know what I’m talking about.
So, it didn’t surprise me that real medical professionals think I’m a doctor. Actually, this happens to me all the time. Most people I meet think I’m in their industry. Most people couldn’t be more mistaken!
It reminds me of when I was in the job search – investigating options in a new industry. The more questions I asked, the more knowledgeable I became, which then developed into a smarter me asking smarter questions. And the funny thing was, the smarter the questions I asked, the more people thought I knew what I was talking about.
Most people I know in the job search can’t seem to wrap their head around this concept. They take themselves out of the running before they ever get in the running. “But, the job description said you need to have experience in healthcare.” Guess what? I don’t care what the job description said. This company is in trouble. You help troubled companies. Now, get all over it.
Quit counting yourself out before you ever get a chance to be in the game. But, once you do get in the game (by getting a referral and getting a meeting), don’t try to sell them on why your lack of experience in their industry isn’t a deal breaker. Ask the smart questions that will expose their issues. Ask the smart questions that will show you know what you’re talking about. Ask the smart questions that ensure they don’t even question how many years you’ve been in their industry…because it’s irrelevant. You’re perfectly capable of meeting and exceeding the demands of the position.
And if you have any questions about VT, please let me know. I’m just about ready to update my resume highlighting my extensive VT knowledge.