What C-3PO Can Teach You About Job SecurityFiled Under Personal Improvement
In this fast paced and economically burdened society, it is only natural for the majority of us to ask ourselves how can we fortify our careers. Do we solidify our current positions? Or should we diversify our experience and resume?
A number of people have asked me this question lately all with the same concerns – they feel their current skill set does not provide them with all the job opportunities they need in order to feel comfortable.
The truth is it is completely possible to land a job without knowing anything at all about the technology or domain for which you are applying for. The only thing you need to prove is your ability to quickly learn and adapt (however, I hope that it is obvious that the less you know the more convincing you will have to be).
Many people are fearful of even applying for positions where they do not meet (or exceed) the requirements of the job description. Pffft I say.
Remember in Star Wars how C-3PO talked himself into the graces of Uncle Owen?
Uncle Owen: You, I suppose you’re programmed for etiquette and protocol.
C-3PO: Protocol? Why, it’s my primary function, sir. I am well-versed in all the customs–
Uncle Owen: I have no need for a protocol droid.
C-3PO: Of course you haven’t, sir. Not in an environment such as this. That is why I have been programmed in–
Uncle Owen: What I really need is a droid who understands the binary language of moisture vaporators.
C-3PO: Vaporators? Sir, my first job was programing binary load lifters very similar to your vaporators in most respects.”
Uncle Owen: Can you speak Bocce?
C-3PO: Of course I can, sir. It’s like a second language to me. I’m a–
Uncle Owen: yeah, alright. Shut up. I’ll take this one.
C-3PO: Shutting up, sir.
There are three simple rules to remember. Master these and you will never be scared of unemployment again.
1. You will never fit the job description 100%
Don’t even get me started on this topic because for some stupid reason employers ask for job skills that even most astronauts don’t possess. Getting hung up in the fact that you don’t fully qualify all the skills is the first stumbling block.
Even if you aren’t their picture perfect candidate, you might be the best for the job out of everyone that applied.
2. Find and flaunt parallel skills
C-3PO didn’t know binary vaporators, but he did know binary load lifters. Don’t know Java? The last 4 years of C# just might be enough to prove you understand it enough.
You would be amazed at how many parallel skills you can draw with what skills are being asked. Really ask yourself, are they asking for an Exchange Server expert or are they asking if I am a capable email administrator that can handle an Exchange server?
3. Shut up
When they decide they like you – shut up. Don’t give up any more information than you need to as it will only hurt you. Just like C-3PO, you might find yourself getting jettisoned if you ramble on.
It is always better to gain new experience and skills; however, do not worry about lacking the knowledge of everything the universe has to offer. Proving that you know how to learn, unlearn, and relearn is the greatest thing you can offer an employer.