Startup Mindset: the Myth of the Slam Dunk

March 27, 2018


Last week I sat down with the amazing Liz Ward, career change guru of Slick Pivot for a Comeback Girl podcast (launching next week -  there are previews of some of the chats up on my Youtube channel now!). She gave some great insights, including a real gem about what she'd learnt though working with startups.

When looking for work, pretend you are a lean startup, experiment, don't wait to be perfect to launch. Tweak your Linkedin, publish an article; pitch to a friend. It will build confidence and pay off.

"No one is looking at your work as closely as you are. So, remember that when you're on hour four debating which shade of navy blue works best for your logo. Yes, details matter. But at a certain point, you have to let go and move on to the next thing"  - Pavia Rosati, Founder of Fathom [The Muse]

In her famous book Lean In Sheryl Sandberg quotes an HP research piece which found that women only applied to internal roles if they could do 90% of it. Among men, it was around 60%. 

Please know that if you apply for a role which is advertised, you will be applying to a wishlist. When a hiring manager writes a job description they are writing about the perfect fit. This person will not usually appear in human form! There will not be a slamdunk candidate. If you like the look of a role and you know in your gut you have what it takes to be successful in the job, apply for it!

I have had partnerships that I thought might be the one big thing, the slam dunk. Success [is] an aggregate of everything. I don’t know if the slam dunk exists.'
Jenn Yee, Founder of MBASocial


As I always say, try and find a way around the job board or applying to an ad. Is there a contact who can help you circumvent the process and introduce? Who do you know that can perhaps put you in contact with the hiring manager? 

You could always make a call to ask what the non-negotiable components are in the role, to ensure these feature in your application.

And lastly, don’t undervalue yourself, the fact that you do not fulfil the wish list doesn’t mean that you should offer yourself for less money.

Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell them, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it 
Theodore Roosevelt





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