Avoiding the tendency to be “over-credentialed” for every possible new role

October 02, 20142 minute read

Panelists at the 2014 AWESOME Symposium noted that women tend to lack confidence and underestimate their readiness for a new assignment or position. For example, a woman may feel she needs to have “checkmarks” in ALL the criteria for a position, while men take a more confident approach
and envision themselves being successful with new kinds of tasks.

Throughout the day’s discussions, one recurring theme was that women should be more willing to ask for what they want and need – the assignment, the expanded role, the promotion – at the same time they are keeping focused on expanding their skillset with new challenges. It’s not just a matter
of a woman speaking up for herself, but also raising her own expectations for herself.

Participants offered insights based on their own experiences:“Once when I was in HR, I was asked to run a plant. When they asked me if I was interested, I thought they were joking. But when the requirements came out, they really did play to my strengths. I think sometimes we forget that the silos we might imagine are not real — skills, abilities and experiences are transferrable.”

“One time when I took on a new role, it was described as being tough. People said it would be so difficult and hard, hard, hard all the time. When I started doing it, it’s not like it was easy but it was do-able. I was wondering if I was doing something wrong. Maybe I didn’t understand this job the way it was supposed to be. But I think sometimes that if we reflect, we realize that we have a way of doing things and it’s the right thing for the challenge.”

Read more insights and observation in Reality Check – Volume Three: What We Can Do