I firmly believe that curious, passionate, and determined people can learn anything to do any job. Character is much more important than resume bullets. This idea is rare in the job search and hiring processes, and I think that’s a shame.
A friend of mine who is abundantly talented told me the other day that she was worried that she wasn’t qualified for jobs that really interested her. To bolster her confidence, I said this: if corporate recruiters were in charge of placing the next President the same way that they place people in other jobs, Barack Obama would have never made it onto the short list much less gotten the job. In 2008, if we compared his resume and experience side-by-side with Hilary Clinton and John McCain, he wouldn’t have made it through the phone screen with HR. He made it to the highest office on grit, passion, intellect, and charisma. He rose by lifting all of us and inspiring us during a dark and frightening time. He was a junior senator who hadn’t even served a full term in the U.S. Senate, and that was his first federal office. He made it on character, not by his resume.
Politics aside, if Barack Obama can get into office and figure out how to do the job of President of the United State of America in the midst of the worst recession in our history (to name just one of his many incredible challenges), we can figure out how to do any job. Stop second-guessing your talents and abilities. Don’t take yourself out of the running by not applying to jobs that really interest you. Throw your hat in the ring, explain your passion and commitment to getting the job done, and go for it! It worked for Barack Obama during the highest of stakes. It can work for us, too.