Have you ever thought of applying for a job that you didn’t feel qualified for? What did you do? Did you talk yourself out of it? If you are anything like me, you may suffer from Imposter Syndrome. It’s so easy to just walk away from new positions when you don’t think you’re qualified. If you’re transitioning from teaching, you may not feel fully qualified for new positions but that’s NOT TRUE. Here’s my helpful guide to help you determine whether or not you should apply for that Dream Job.

Unqualified vs. Under Qualified

First, you should know the difference between being unqualified and under qualified.

Unqualified means that you have NO experience that the position is asking for. Example: A job training animals to act for movies would be SO FUN! I should apply even though I have no experience working with animals or in the movie industry. If you are unqualified, don’t apply. If it seems like a dream job then you should start exploring the skills required to get some experience. Check out my blog about learning new skills when transitioning from the classroom.

Underqualified means that you have some experience in the position, but not exactly what they are asking for. Example: This position is asking for 7 years experience in education or training, when I’ve only been a teacher for 3 years. If you are underqualified, YOU SHOULD STILL APPLY. If you have transferrable skills, are confident in your ability to perform, or bring anything unique to this position then you are a great candidate.

I received my last position as an Instructional Designer with less experience than was written on the application – AND I STILL NEGOTIATED A SALARY INCREASE. How did I do this? Not only did I come in with confidence that I could perform the job even without the experience necessary, but I proved to them that I would bring unique skills to their company that the other candidates did not.