#13Percent Club: You Know More Than You Think You Know

Posted on February 5, 2016


In this multi-part blog series, Julie Underwood interviews the women who were the first female managers in cities across the country: 

You know more than you think you know – GO FOR IT!

largeWhen thinking of your next career move, here’s some advice for you. The theme I saw was the need to rely on your decision-making abilities and to not second-guess yourself. ICMA President Patricia Martel, City Manager of Daly City, CA (and my boss) says, “Fear is the greatest enemy of our self-confidence.” Brenda’s encouraging advice is be fearless: decide you can do the job. She says:

 “You have to believe in yourself and to head into your interviews with confidence. If you don’t believe you can do the job, you will not be able to convince the governing body that you can. You might not get the job offer, but you certainly won’t get it if you aren’t even in the running! You may not have every single experience or skill that you want, but will anyone? This is not a profession for wimps!”

Eden says, “Be deliberate in your decision-making process. Take the time to learn as much as you can about the community and above all, make sure it is the right fit for you and your family.”

Lisa also says, “Don’t be afraid to try for the City Manager job, even if you’re worried that you’re not ready. Even the interview process is good experience. My male peers never seem to let that slow them down, but my female peers often wait until they’re more senior to try for the job.”

Karen shares, “Don’t second guess your decision to apply for the job. Women are sometimes the worst at finding that one skill on the job announcement that they don’t have experience with and deciding that they shouldn’t apply.”

images (2)Julia N. also says, “Apply!!!! Don’t hold back, if it is a job you want, go for it. You won’t get it if you don’t apply. If you DQ yourself from the very beginning it is no one’s fault but your own!” 

And Julie R., again tells us, “Don’t be afraid to take the next step. If you see a position that you’re interested in, do your homework. Be sure it’s a good fit for you, and if so, go for it!”

Kris says, “Don’t wait until you feel you’re 100% ready. You’re never going to be 100%. There are things in your new job you just don’t know and will have to learn. You need to have a group of mentors you trust and who care about you as a person to provide you with helpful feedback and advice.” Jan also talked about readiness, she says, “Maintain your eye on the goal, prepare but don’t feel you need to ‘know it all perfectly,’ before taking the leap. You will never be completely ready, so just go for it.”

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