38. You don’t have to know 100% of the role

I used to have this stupid idea in my mind, that I could not apply for roles if I could not do everything on the Job Description.

If you think this way and want progress in your career; stop! this mentality will hurt your career, if you want to climb the corporate ladder you will need a mixture of knowing and not knowing.

No CFO started their career as a CFO, you get the title first, then once in role you get the experience and then you became a CFO, I use this as a high level example but you should get the point.

If you are shying away from applying to be a CFO because you don’t have experience; the question is not how much you can’t do, but how much can you do?

A recruiter told me, roughly 70% of the job description you should have experience for; which will give you 30% to learn, this is good for both parties as it decreases the likelihood of you getting bored and leaving for a more exciting role in the short term at least.

If your fear is mistakes, don’t worry, mistakes unfortunately are part of your growing process; a part of learning is making mistakes.

As long as you minimise them, don’t repeat them and where possible learn from over peoples mistakes you will be fine.

Back in my accounting days, I once heard it can take up to 6 months to get good at a role; whilst I disagree and I believe this is company dependent; it’s a good guideline.

When stepping up in a role, if you didn’t do it via nepotism, these are the things to work on, to close the gap between what you do and do not have experience in.

Past results
Technical knowledge
Ability to apply technical knowledge
Software skills
Managerial skills
Communication / networking skills
Consistency / perseverance
Educational qualifications
Work ethic

I know of at least three examples where people have managed to change careers or progress into positions they did not have previous experience in.

If it anytime you see a role you want and your are unsure; apply anyway you’re probably not as far off as you think you are.


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