The BT Blog #3


Guest Blog:

Why you should take a punt on yourself when it comes to job opportunities

by Joanna Murphy, CEO of

As the economy begins to reopen many people are ‘emerging’ from lockdown to find their job situation looking quite different and are realising that new horizons may be on the cards, whether by choice or necessity. Some of us may have been furloughed, which has given us a chance to assess where we are and where we would like to go in our career, and perhaps has lead to the conclusion that we would like to change up our career direction and opt for something new.  There are also many among us facing the task of replacing old employment that no longer exists.  

Whatever the circumstance, a new job or a career change could be on the cards for many in the coming months – but are we selling ourselves short on the jobs market?

When it comes to applying for jobs, people react in different ways. Some might be very confident and punch well above their weight in terms of what position or role they apply for, others will only go for a job if they meet the necessary requirements, while some people will be slow to put themselves forward for any role, such is their lack of confidence in their own abilities.

We recently conducted a survey of over 2,000 of our customers and asked them their views around applying for jobs and how confident or otherwise they felt about their own abilities.

  • 58% of people said they would be hesitant to apply for a new position without having at least 70% of the qualifications and requirements
  • 27% of women and 23% of men felt they would need a whopping 90% or more of the required experience and qualifications before they would apply for a new role

This over-cautiousness might be a misstep, because most employers aren’t as stringent as that – they know that people might have other qualities they could bring to the role.

Taking the plunge into a job search can be daunting, the following are some helpful tips to get the best out of your job hunting:

  • Conduct a personal/skills audit: A great way to re-evaluate yourself when going for a new position, particularly if you’ve been in your current job for a while, is to conduct a skills and attributes audit. This is essentially a review of different practical, vocational, and interpersonal skills which you can list and then rank yourself accordingly. You can also write down your interests, talents, and achievements, as well as personal qualities, and relevant life experience. Reviewing this with a trusted friend or colleague can bring much needed fresh perspective.
  • Do your research: When it comes to choosing an employer, it’s worth considering what level of challenge and input you are looking for in a new role. You might prefer a more established organisation that offers reputation, recognition, and perhaps increased scale of roles and career progression, or you might be more interested in a competitive start-up, which is often a fast-paced and collaborative environment, giving you more scope to shape your role, and indeed the company itself.
  • Take a chance! Within reason, if you feel a job is right for you – and you are right for a job, then take a punt on yourself and apply for it. The worst that can happen is that you don’t get shortlisted for an interview, but regardless of the outcome you will have gained significantly from the application process.
  • Don’t sell yourself short: As an employer I would say that this is one of the most common mistakes people make in interviews. While you might not have 100 or 90 or even 80% of all the attributes set out in the job specification, you might well have other talents and experience that employers would benefit from.

One of the most important learnings the current crisis has exposed, is that no matter what qualifications and previous experience we have, or where we might like to go in our careers, our resilience and adaptability to work in rapidly changing work environments and situations is as incredible as it is valuable. Sometimes it’s the skills and characteristics that we often dismiss as simply ‘who we are’, that can prove to be some of the most important of all in our toolkit – something definitely worth valuing in ourselves as we take brave steps into a new world of work.