The job sounded incredibly exciting - meeting with customers, marketing and selling GE products to large Japanese companies, growing the business, traveling to Japan. However, the only criteria on the job description I met was having a marketing degree. I had no other qualification at the time as I’d only been working for a few years and not actually in marketing. But I had something else, that stays with me even today and that’s confidence and determination to succeed.
In the interview, I was energetic, positive and extremely confident, selling myself and my potential, opposed to my experience. The hiring manager liked my confidence. He told me he knew I didn’t have the experience or the technical skills for the job, but those could be taught. What he did like about me was my attitude, my confidence, my positive energy and my initiative to apply for something beyond my experience level. He took a chance on me and offered me the job. He turned out to be one of the most impactful and influential bosses I’ve ever had. Luckily, I did not disappoint him as I grew the business significantly and expanded into Taiwan, Singapore and China. I received the highest employee ranking at GE for all the years I was there.
I learned a lot from this leader at a very early age. The most important traits I look for in hiring or promoting someone is their initiative and confidence. I strongly believe technical skills can be taught and I would rather take a chance on an individual willing to give it their all, than someone with strong technical skills that just wants to get by.