Some candidates for jobs have the drive to excel, even if they are not of the right ‘pedigree’. Here’s why you should be confident if you are one of them.

There are some people who get the best opportunities while growing up. They study at premier institutions and land perfect jobs right after graduation. Others, due to lack of opportunities or adverse circumstances, rarely get the same advantages. They cannot afford to study at prestigious institutions. They are forced to work odd, low-paying jobs to support themselves.

Human Resources Executive Regina Hartley calls the former category of people ‘Silver Spoons’ and the latter category ‘Scrappers’ in her TED Talk titled “Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume”.

Describing her early life as one where her parents could not afford even the most basic electronic gadgets that all her friends owned, she calls herself a Scrapper. This motivated her to study the connection between adversity and business success, because her life turned out well when it could have gone terribly wrong.

Does adversity have some surprising consequences?

In Hartley’s opinion, there is one thing common to a lot of successful business people - they have faced adversity in childhood. She believes that adversity helps them to develop the muscle and grit that is needed to succeed in life. Psychologists call this phenomenon - Post Traumatic Growth and it is common in people who have faced trauma or difficult circumstances.

Hartley believes that Scrappers are people who have often experienced Post Traumatic Growth, which means they are able to recognize their personal strength and use it towards creating new opportunities for themselves. This is what makes them great workers and even better leaders.

Look beyond the paper-perfect candidate!

As per Hartley, studies have shown that companies committed to diversity and inclusive practices increasingly outperform their peers. Inclusive practices in hiring include hiring people who have faced adversity, those who never got the right opportunities in life, and those who don’t have the perfect resume. She urges more companies to ignore these factors and hire such people, because passion and purpose drive their work, which is important for the success of the company.

As more companies recognise the value of diversity in hiring, it is time you stopped being afraid to apply for your dream job. It may be true you don’t have the right pedigree, or a perfect educational record, or even the most confidence-inspiring work history, but the challenges you have faced in life have made you someone who can excel. Perhaps your dream job is at Accenture, learn more and explore Accenture Careers!

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