In the late 80’s, my friend Amy and I worked at the State Attorney’s Office. We had both been out of law school a couple of years, but Amy was 10 years older than me. I don’t recall what kind of work she did before going to law school. Anyway, after two years as prosecutors, we were both applying for positions that would allow us to make more money and work fewer hours. It was not unusual to work 80 hours a week when we had jury trials, and I wasn’t earning enough to pay my student loans. I learned about a position in the corporate legal department of a major insurance company. I applied. When I learned that Amy had also applied, I knew I wouldn’t get the job. Amy was the type of person that everyone loved. She was one of those souls who could get along with everyone, and she made everybody feel at ease. I knew that no employer would choose me over Amy. I was quite surprised when the employer did indeed choose me over Amy. I have no idea why because we were about equal in terms of legal experience, and I would assume that she aced the interview. I had counted myself out.
Fast forward two decades and I must remind myself that the answer is always no if I don’t ask. If I don’t ask for an upgrade to first class, the answer is no. If I don’t run for an office in my sorority, I won’t be elected. How many times do we count ourselves out? Why do we assume that someone else is better qualified?
Are you holding yourself back? Do you need to go out on a limb? When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? Apply for the promotion. Volunteer to chair the committee. No one is ever really ready. We learn as we go. If you don’t have anyone in your immediate circle to help you navigate new territory, reach out to your social media contacts. Check out leadership and personal development blogs such as www.success.com and www.michaelhyatt.com.