Bullish: Why You Should Apply for Jobs You Aren’t Qualified For


From a male reader (possibly one of the ones featured in What Men Say About Living Bullishly!)

My wife’s university was making two new hires this year. One was for an associate professor position, which is tenured, but the lowest-level tenure position that you can get. My wife was chair of the committee to make that hire. The best candidate was a man, who was given the offer and accepted. The backup was a woman, who my wife loved, but that’s life. I should note that this woman’s tenure clock is up at her own school, so she really could have used the job.

The second position was for an endowed chair, which is not only tenured, but the best kind you can get. The committee didn’t get any resumes from people who actually deserved to be endowed chairs, but they brought two of the dreamers anyway.

The two people they brought in were not as qualified as the woman who had applied for the associate professor position. The chair of that committee actually told my wife, “I wonder why she didn’t apply.”

The reason was that she wasn’t qualified. But neither were the two guys who actually decided to just give it a shot, one of whom they today voted to give the offer to since there was no one better to give it to.

Let’s all say this together:



In Bullish: Should You Take a Step Backwards to Switch Careers?, I gave some advice to a reader who was angling for jobs she wasn’t quite directly qualified for. I wrote this:

To read the rest of this post, head on over to Bullish.
To read the rest of this post, head on over to Bullish.

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    • Tana Siemaszko

      I’m sorry but if she was marginally or even seriously better than the other guys who were even less qualified, and they intended to hire regardless of those qualification needs, why didn’t they reach out to her with an offer?