Martha's Dare inspiring you to achieve your dreams

Dare to fail, apply for THAT job !

“Failures are made only by those who fail to dare, not by those who dare to fail.” Lester B. Pearson

I have lived my life to the fullest. I have taken on huge renovations projects…on my own, run marathons without training, and never hesitated to try something new. There is only one thing in my life that I regret. When I was in fourth year University and looking for my first job, all the big consulting companies were recruiting on campus. Everyone was a buzz – McKinsey this, Bain that. However, even amongst all the hype I did not go to the recruitment nights and didn’t even CONSIDER applying. Why ?? Well, their job postings said that they wanted candidates with 80%+ and I only had a mere 73%. At that time I didn’t cut myself any slack for the fact that my degree was in Applied Mathematics (the second hardest engineering discipline at Queen’s), or that I had one of the best extracurricular resumes in my year. I didn’t meet their requirements so I didn’t even bother trying. I failed before I even started.

Dare: I dare you to apply for those jobs that you truly believe that you will excel at but may not meet ALL their posted requirements.

Martha’s Outcome: This is a dare I didn’t take. I don’t regret not getting the chance to work at these big consulting firms, what I do regret is giving myself the chance to choose whether I wanted to work at these big firms. You have to be your biggest fan, you have to look beyond the black and white of what is written that they need and sell them on why they want YOU ! When I was 21 I didn’t have the guts to go for it. Ironic if you know me now. I mean my website is called Martha’s Dare !! I didn’t believe that my positive attitude, never ending energy, ability to learn quickly, my creativity, my ability to build trust quickly, or my hard earned, life experience filled 73% was indeed good enough for me to be a leader at any company. Know that the things you do outside of your school work, are usually the things that make you workplace ready. Take what they are looking for and then tailor your extra-curriculars, marks, and life experiences to convey a compelling story that meets their needs. What I know now is that it is. And if I could go back 10 years and be 21 year old Martha again I would go into those recruiting sessions and tell them why they should hire me.

Since time travel doesn’t exist I’ll instead dare you to do it ! Apply for that job. Dare to fail, Dare to beat the 80%ers with a 73.

About Martha van Berkel

Martha is the co-founder of Marketing Technology company - Hunch Manifest. She likes to fire up customer adoption and disrupting industries! She is a entrepreneur and a Mom!

One Response to “Dare to fail, apply for THAT job !”

  • Interesting post, Marth. I can’t help but feel that the ‘consulting job’ is a bit of a symbol… a holy grail… a definition of inattainability. We have choices when confronted by something we want but don’t have. We can try to get it, through sheer panache or determination, or we can accept that we don’t have it. I am not talking about sour grapes or accepting every situation as a defeat off the top, rather a deliberate re-framing of our priorities and what we want, to suit what is available. It’s a choice to be happy, and rest right now. Skip the striving and just what what we have.

    What is a want, really, but a habitual pattern of the mind? You stopped wanting the consulting job after you figured you couldn’t get it, and you didn’t get the choice to take or turn down that consulting job, and your life turned out fine!

    There will always be things we don’t have or haven’t done, and you, my friend, are better than just about anyone I know at tackling those things one by one and encouraging others to do so as well. I wonder about those times, though, when more effort is not the healthiest option – when giving up really is the happiest, sanest choice and choosing to invest in gratitude and contentment for what you do have is actually better. I’d love to see a post about that… :)