new job skills

Take the leap?

Ginny Gaylor

Considering taking a job or role that is a stretch for your capabilities? Here’s the pros and cons.

Applying for a new job? Vying for a promotion at your current workplace? No matter the circumstance, changing jobs usually involves a stretching of your current capabilities. This new position will require additional skills or updated capabilities on your part if you are to do the job well. But how do you know when a job is pushing your skill set to a new area of growth and when it is pushing you off a cliff?

Is that really a “required” qualification?

There’s no workplace growth without a bit of a stretch. And a job’s list of “requirements” isn’t something that you have to treat as sacred. If you already possessed all of the outlined abilities, what would be the challenge? Asking colleagues or former managers if a job’s description is out of bounds for your skill set is a good way to help you determine if a new position has the proper amount of stretch. If they think you are capable of handling the role, don’t let your own insecurities hold you back.

Do you have a history of rising to challenges?

Think back about how you handled past job stretches. Did you rise to the occasion or crash and burn? How you dealt with challenges in previous positions can help you gauge your ability moving forward. What’s more, sharing details about how you bridged a job skills gap in the past can help you sway the employer that you are up to the task.

Is it scaring you just a little?

If you aren’t feeling a twinge of anxiety about a potential new job, it may not be pushing your capabilities quite enough. But it should be just a twinge, with a much larger feeling of excitement at the potential the position offers. This mix of mostly enthusiasm with a soupçon of anxiety is the golden ticket in terms of what you want to feel about a new job opportunity.

Do you trust in your resourcefulness?

A big part of succeeding in a new position is knowing when (and who) to reach out to for support. You don’t just need confidence in your abilities but also confidence in who is the best resource for you when you have questions. Setting yourself up for career success means leveraging those around you and asking the right questions.


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