How to Cope When You Are
Overqualified for a Job
Are you professionally overqualified for your job? Are you having trouble
finding a job that fits like a glove? Have you settled for a job that has no
relation whatsoever with your professional skills?
When you are professionally overqualified, there are usually lots of
stressful issues, which have to be dealt with. You may be forced to adjust your
entire life and mold it to fit your current situation. This can be very
stressful, frustrating and can even lead to depression.
It is therefore important to equip yourself with some tips on how to cope
during this period when you feel like you have been hit under the belt.
6 coping tips for overqualified you:
1. Talk to your boss.
You may have to schmooze to do this; you have to do what you have to do to
get where you want to be. Donít be shy about telling your boss or any other
significant person in your organization about your other professional skills.
Let them know that you would be interested in applying for other positions
within the company, which match your skills better. Ask your boss to let you
know about suitable positions that are open. Inquire about policies relating to
internal candidates seeking to fill vacant positions within the company. Speak
outÖMother luck may just smile on you!
2. Prepare to mentally re-adjust.
Life is tough as it is and being professionally overqualified means that you
have to have the right mental attitude to adjust to your situation.
Mentally re-adjusting involves accepting your position and planning how to
deal with it. You have to be prepared to not only deal with being a direct
report to a boss who may be less qualified than you but also a leaner paycheck
and a bruised ego.
You may also have to trim your resume and down play your qualifications to
suit your current job description. The ability to maintain a positive attitude
will do so much for you in terms of preserving your sanity. It never hurt anyone
to look on the bright side.
3. Search for a more suitable job.
One good thing about being overqualified is that there are always other
options available. Mount an aggressive job search, update your resume and keep
all your relevant job related documents ready.
Begin to research your industry while look at current job listings on the
Internet. Check for job openings posted in the classified section of your local
newspaper and contact temporary employment agencies that hire professionals.
Be aggressive about your job search. Find out what additional skills
employers are looking for and what you need to do to get a cutting edge over the
rest of the job seekers in your field. Network with people who can give you
leads about job availabilities in the sectors that interest you. Donít give up.
4. Donít be afraid to start fresh.
It is sometimes easier to get a clear perspective of what you really want to
do when life is not going as smoothly as you expect. Take time to search your
soul and take an inventory of what matters most in your life.
If you feel that you may have a better chance in another professional field,
donít be afraid to start a new. New beginnings can be a welcome relief
especially if your current skills are standing in the way of better
Itís never too late to start a fresh. Be prepared to adjust your life to new
experiences and other opportunities
5. Join a professional association.
Volunteer or seek membership in a professional association that addresses
issues in your field of expertise. This will keep you abreast of the latest
developments in your field and keep you intellectually challenged.
Making contributions to the association and being actively involved in its
activities will give you a chance to indirectly pursue what you are qualified to
do. It will also give you a chance to meet and network with stakeholders who may
widen your chances of getting hired in your preferred field.
6. Consider it a learning experience.
There are many lessons to learn from being professionally overqualified.
Apart from acquiring new job skills, you may discover that you have strengths in
other fields which your never knew you had.
Sometimes it takes hardship for the best attributes we have to surface. This
may also be an opportunity to view things from another perspective.
Caroline Jalango is a life coach for unstoppable women who are willing to step
up to the plate and take a shot at living exceptional lives wherever they are.