We undervalue and undersell ourselves every single day. Even as jobseekers we have huge capacity and huge potential but are sometimes the last to see it.
I read an article yesterday about US employers hiring ex-service personnel. Companies that do this want to do it again. Here was the reason given in one instance, “they wanted to hire him for the things they couldn’t teach him. The intangibles that would make him excel.”
That’s an employer’s way of saying, we’re hiring you for you. In other words, it’s not your technical skills (we can teach those). It’s your willingness, your energy, your desire to do a good job. These are the things we want and they all belong to you.
Sadly, the job market doesn’t regularly remind us of any of this. Nor do employers, nor does the everyday experience of looking for a job. That’s one of the reasons sites like ours are here. It’s also why I’m writing about this subject now. If it was easy to remember all of this (all the things we have that are valuable to employers) I’d happily give this up and bake cupcakes for the next 25 years.
The reality is we need to remind ourselves one person at a time, what it is we’ve got and why employers need it. Our effort, energy, good will and good humour are a vital part of every well oiled, well running company machine. Without us it doesn’t work, no matter how shiny, perfect or imposing it looks from the outside.
It’s not a case of being superior, of having great expectations or getting all up on a high horse and pontificating to employers. That doesn’t get anyone far. Instead, I think it’s about each person – every employee, every job seeker, every worker – deep-down knowing they have something valuable, something important to offer. And knowing there are companies out there looking for what they have every single day.