The perfect job fit doesn’t always equal 10/10

It’s time for a new job, a new challenge. As you conduct your daily scan of the local job postings a certain job title with an organisation you’ve been monitoring jumps out at you.  Could this finally be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for? You eagerly read the details, mentally checking off the job expectations in your mind. But as you reach the job requirements section, your heart sinks. You can strongly deliver 6 of the 10 requirements, but the remaining 4 you would not count among your strengths.

Do you apply? Or wait for the next opportunity, hoping there will be something that fits your exact skill set soon?

Research shows the majority of women only apply for jobs when they meet 100% of the criteria, whereas most men apply when they meet just 60%. (Source: LinkedIn, Gender Insights Report: How women find jobs differently) How many job interviews are women missing out on?


How about a promotion opportunity at work? Do you believe in yourself and your abilities enough to apply, even if you don’t fit all of the criteria? Or again, wait for that perfect fit?

An extremely successful APAC Director shared her thoughts at the Developing Global Leaders Women in Leadership Program, and her insight was fascinating. Several years ago she had to be coaxed by her superiors to even apply for an internal promotion believing she did not fit all of the criteria. After the interview process, she found out she did not get the job only because she did not have enough allies or sponsors.

Meanwhile, her male counterpart, who had significantly less experience, had been broadcasting his lofty ambitions and lobbying sponsors to support his candidacy for promotion for over 12 months.

It is not men’s fault if they are going after a promotion or new job – good on them! We can all take actions to make sure we make the most of the opportunities out there.


Building a network of mentors and sponsors is critical to career advancement and something that must be nurtured over time, not only when you are seeking promotion or referrals.  Focus on mutually beneficial relationships. They are the most enduring and ultimately rewarding.

Have clarity when it comes to your career goals. When a new job or promotion comes along, gut instinct will always play a part, but you can also refer back to those goals to help with your decision.

Remember, there is never a perfect job for anyone, and we are all able to adapt and learn along the way. Why wait for 10 out of 10? Isn’t the point of a new job to learn, be inspired, challenged and enthused?

To find out about the Women in Leadership Program click here


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