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How to get a job you are not qualified for

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A friend of mine immediately after completing his NYSC programme got a job that was meant for people with 2 to 3 years’ work experience. He was mistakenly shortlisted for the role and invited for the interview. When one of the interview panelist noticed that he didn’t have the number of years of experience, he was told to leave but the other panelist said they should give him a chance since he was already with them. All he needed to clinch the job was that opportunity to meet face to face with the interviewer and he did not misuse the opportunity to let them know that they needed him.

Another friend of mine who had a third class was employed by a bank that had a policy of employing candidates with minimum of second class upper. When he realised that he was seemingly at a disadvantage because of his class of degree, he decided to take his career in his hands. He was writing short Christian stories in the form of tracts and was taking it to organisations to sell. He was fortunate to run into an ED of a bank one of the days he went to the bank to sell. His passion for what he was doing and the way he was doing caught the attention of the ED who felt he was a potential candidate for his sales team. On the spot he was hired and was recommended to the human resource department.

It was in the HR department that they discovered that his grade classification did not meet the requirement of the bank and he was denied the job opportunity. However, when it got to the notice of the ED, he took up the matter and got an executive waiver to hire him. During the 2008/2009 financial year, that the banking sector was heated up and some banks laid off staff, he was asked to go. He was exited only because of his class of degree.

After some months, based on his previous good performance, he was recalled. He eventually resigned to focus on his business which he started after he was exited.

An unusual case was a guy in one of the businesses I managed as HR business partner who had no first degree but was working in the subsidiary of a bank. Prior to the appointment of a HRBP for the subsidiary, the PA to the MD used to handle the recruitment of staff and she was doing it without recourse to the group policy. The issue of his qualification came up when there was agitation for promotion of staff in the business unit and we had to look into his record. Not only was he promoted, his not having a first degree which generated some tension (as it was against the policy of the group) died down because his MD stood firmly behind him. He was that good at his job.

One thing is common to all these three cases and I want to take you to the scripture to see this one thing.

Genesis chapter forty one has the account of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt having a dream that needed an interpretation. They fetched Joseph, a Jewish prisoner to interpret the dream and he did an excellent job in doing that. However, he did not just interpret the dream of Pharaoh; he equally proffered a solution as to the successful implementation of the dream and this forced Pharaoh to say;

……… isn’t this the man we need? Are we going to find anyone else who has God’s spirit in him like this?

So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “You’re the man for us. God has given you the inside story-no one is as qualified as you in experience and wisdom. From now on, you’re in charge of my affairs; all my people will report to you. Only as king will I be over you” Gen 41: 38-40 (Msg)

What got the three guys their position was the same thing that got a Jewish prisoner in a strange land a second in command position. Joseph had the solution to the problem confronting Pharaoh more than anyone else and despite his disqualifications (tribe, prisoner status) he got the job. It was the same principle that promoted him to the second in command at Potiphar’s house

Friends, the person that gets the job is not usually the most qualified, but the person that has the solution to the problem to be solved. Another illustrative account is that of Daniel who narrated and interpreted the dream of the king Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2). He had the solution to the challenge the king had and the king was left with no choice but to create two new roles for him, Governor of the province of Babylon and the Commander in Chief of Babylonian wise men.

Are you looking for a job? What problem is the job designed to solve and do you have the solution? Do you desire that open post? Have you gotten the solution they want? This principle works every time.

Stop running all over to get qualifications or beg people to help you look for jobs or keep shelling out your CVs everywhere, rather, deepen your ability to solve problems. This will change the career game for you instantly.

This is a part of the Christian Employee Series

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About Author

is a Professional Human Resource Leader , Career Counsellor & Capability Trainer, who helps individuals and organisations work from their position of strength. He is the Principal Partner at Career Edge Limited, based in Lagos, Nigeria.

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