What was the situation?

I had been working in the fashion industry as a project manager and decided that it was time to try something new. I was burnt out by the hectic pace and felt like I had reached a point where I wasn’t excited about the career opportunities in front of me.

I started looking for jobs online but was frustrated by what I was seeing. I have my AA from fashion school and I was worried that would limit me with what I could do. I wasn’t sure why anyone outside of the fashion industry would hire me, even though I knew I could do more.

I came across one job in the travel industry that interested me. Travel sounded fun, but as I looked through the requirements I was discouraged. Under education, they listed that a BA was required and an MBA was preferred.

Why would they look at me with an AA from fashion school?

I moved on, but there was something about the job posting that interested me and I went back to look at it later that day.

As I was reading through the posting again, I decided to ignore the education requirements. I spent time studying the job responsibilities and realized that most of the responsibilities in this job were things I had already done. Sure, the language was different as it was a different industry, but the basic responsibilities were the same.

I decided to apply – what was the worst that could happen?

To my surprise, they quickly called me. They asked me to take a skills assessment test and after that, I was brought in for an interview with the director. I was a little terrified – I knew nothing about the industry, other than what I had researched online before the interview. I was worried I would completely embarrass myself.

The interview was going well, but I was still feeling uncomfortable with my lack of degree and industry experience. I decided to just ask, “do you think that as a candidate for this job I’m at a disadvantage because I don’t have the right degree or industry experience? Or do you see that as a potential benefit?” I had to know. He responded that he was looking for a certain skill set, whether it comes from education, experience within the industry, or outside of it.

I’m glad that I asked that question and subsequently felt much more confident, because, in my next interview with the SVP, he asked how I planned to be able to communicate and lead teams as an industry outsider. With the confidence from my last interview, I talked about my skills being the most important qualification, regardless of industry. I must have answered well because they called to offer me a position.

Don’t stumble

through another awkward conversation.

Negotiate for more money, flexibility, or different opportunities.

Get your FREE Negotiation Guide

How did the conversation go?

I’m not shy about asking for a salary I feel I deserve – I’ve asked for multiple raises and promotions previously – but I wanted to make sure I was asking for the right things with this job. As I was changing industries and I had done my market research, I knew I would be comfortable with a salary that was roughly equivalent to what I was currently making. I was going to get great travel benefits with the job as well as a flexible work schedule. Instead of focusing on negotiating my salary, I wanted to focus on benefits that would help develop me professionally. This was my opportunity to move out of fashion and I wanted to make the most of it.

I think I surprised them by not focusing on title and money, but by instead focusing on having the opportunity to manage a team and prioritize my personal education with attendance at different industry conferences and technology workshops. I felt like those two things were really missing from my career experience, and it was most important for me to get these so I could set myself up for success in a new industry.

I outlined what I wanted and asked them to commit to supporting these opportunities. They agreed and I started working just a few weeks later.

What advice did you have for other women?

Don’t immediately disqualify yourself from jobs or other opportunities. So often we count ourselves out too soon, without taking the time to figure out if we actually capable of succeeding. When I saw that a BA was required and an MBA was preferred, I almost didn’t apply. But when I took a second look at what they needed, I knew that I could do this job. It turns out I was their ideal candidate, even though I didn’t meet 100% of the criteria.

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com

Don’t stumble

through another awkward conversation.

Negotiate for more money, flexibility, or different opportunities.

Get your FREE Negotiation Guide

THE LATEST & GREATEST

How to Stop Overspending – Tools to Organize Your Money

The best things in life are free. Right? When it comes to the tools that I'm currently loving to help me organize my money, that's definitely true. I've shared before how I'm not naturally a saver, but I've managed to set up systems and nudges that make it easier for...

read more

How We Manage Our Money, in 15 Minutes a Month

This month was rough money-wise, but great life-wise. You win some, you lose some, right? With a baby arriving, I have been going a little overboard buying things that I hope will make life easier. We’ve also had a slew of doctors bills, which I’m sure is only the tip...

read more

March Financial Goals Update: How I Make More Money

When Jordan and I sat down to make our goals for 2018, we knew this would be a big year. “Make more money” isn’t a unique goal but the goal was intrinsic to enabling our live bigger goals. We were expecting our first child in March, we are saving up to build a home on...

read more

HAPPY HOUR FOR YOUR INBOX

smart reads + self-care + inspiring interviews all sent to your inbox every Friday. So you can say "see ya" to those Sunday scaries.

The Weekend Buzz

 

Every Friday we’ll bring you a roundup of the most interesting stories, things to learn, and things you’ll definitely want to do toward reaching financial freedom. Sent straight to your inbox.

You're almost in - just head over to your email to confirm and then you're on the list!

Money Makeover The Worth Project

Quickly get your finances in order.

It’s time to use money as a tool to live a better life. And not just when you’re 65. A better life now. Let’s spend the next 24 hours re-thinking your money. Grab my FREE guide and start your 5 simple steps today!

You're almost in. Head to your email to download the worksheet.

No Budget Workbook The Worth Project

Managing your money doesn’t need to take all day.

This is a simple way to put your money on auto-pilot and create the ever so important habit of happiness when it comes to spending. This is easy – and good – and will leave you spending less than an hour each month thinking about your bank account.

You're almost in. Head to your email to download the worksheet.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This