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Fake it till you make it....

We are getting lots of conflicting stories about the interpreter for the deaf at Mandela's Memorial Service.  He has, apparently, worked for government before, but deaf people, including a parliamentarian, were sending messages that he was making no sense.   Today, somebody phoned 702 and suggested that her organisation would offer to give him formal training.   Definitely in the spirit of Ubuntu.

This all made me think about the concept of "Fake it till you make it".   Back in the day, I met a guy who had come over from England, was living in a communal house with 4 or 5 others, 3 of whom were draughtsmen.   He was struggling to find a job, so his housemates gave him some basic tips about being a draughtsman, (and a few fake references, I think) and off he went and got a job as a draughtsman.  He was fired after a week!

Nothing daunted, he started afresh and got another position, where he lasted about two weeks, and so it went on.   After 6 or so months, he was offered yet another job, and that was it.   He had become a draughtsman, and has remained one for the rest of his career.   All through this process, though, he was working hard to improve, and getting lots of advice from his very amused buddies.

I am not recommending this rather back door approach to building a career, but there are many areas where confidence and the right attitude might get you a position above your skill set and qualifications.  Then the hard work really starts, building the relationships, asking the right questions and putting in the focused hours that will vindicate the risk your employer took.

It is almost impossible to have the perfect skill set for a position, but many people (especially women) are scared to apply for promotion, unless there is a very close match between their skills and that of the job.  Apply!   The worst case is that you don't get the job, and find out what you need to do to be ready for that next opportunity.  

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