YOU is Valuable. Now Prove it.

by Abby Brummel

Human Connection

I was talking with my four housemates the other day about a startling statistic: women don’t apply to as many jobs as men because they feel as if they need to meet 100% of the qualifications for the position, whereas men feel they only need to meet 60%. Though I could go on and on about what this says about how women are viewed in the workplace versus men (#FightthePatriarchy), I’ve instead been wondering if it says something bigger about how we view ourselves as employees in general. 

I’m sure it’s a feeling that you’ve experienced: feeling underprepared for the job that you want, or even the job you have. I know I feel that way a lot.

Just in case you didn’t know, I’m still a junior at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, pursuing a degree in Studio Art and Communications. Since starting at Navigate almost a year ago, I feel that I have learned so much about graphic design, copywriting, creative strategizing, and the way that I work with a team. My productivity has grown ten-fold, yet I still struggle to get over the mental block of where my work ethic was when I started here. As the youngest person working for Navigate, I often find myself undervaluing my own work…even though no one else is.

I’ve been told frequently that I’m just too hard on myself, but I feel as if a lot of people are. We spend so much time critiquing our own work that we forget about the good that we are capable of doing. No one was ever meant to be good at everything; that’s what teams are for. Workplaces are supposed to be places where you have the ability to learn and grow as a person, leaning on those around you for help. Just because you’re done with your formal education doesn’t mean that your informal education is over (and it shouldn’t be).  This is something that Navigate does so well. We are a team, first and foremost, and we learn from each other every day. 

If you’re currently in the process of applying for a position you feel somewhat under-qualified for, I invite you to remember that passion is worth far more than talent ever was. If you’re willing to discuss your weaknesses and acknowledge that you want to learn how to overcome them, many employers might be more willing to hire you over someone who has a lot of talent in that area, but is un-coachable and thinks they know everything.

In conclusion, next time you need a pick-me-up to remind you how incredibly amazing and valuable you are to your team (or to the world in general), I’d like to give you a little message to remember, something I learned a long time ago from The Help by Kathryn Stockett and use to pump myself every time I feel low: You is smart. You is kind. You is important. That’s all you truly need to know.