vineri, 22 ianuarie 2010

Being Overqualified

I finally found my dream job after 2 years during which time this species was considered to be extinct. I went to the interviews for it and now I am waiting for an answer and hoping for the positive one.

And since I am waiting, I have a lot of time to replay the final interview in my head, over and over. One issue comes to my mind, an issue that I had to face many times in my job hunting experience: being overqualified.

It seems that being overqualified is a problem for all parties.

The employer would be reluctant to even consider an applicant that seems to be overqualified, fearing that he might ask for a bigger salary than they would be willing to pay. The same employer would consider that the employee might be frustrated to hold a position beneath his abilities for the long run and it would be a waste of effort and money to offer him the job, since he would leave the company as soon as an opportunity his level appears. The employee is right in judging so.

The direct superior of the person who would fill the position is also reluctant to offer the job to an applicant who seems to be really good. He might feel threatened by the higher competences of the applicant that in time could replace him or he might feel unable to handle a person who is better at their job. It is debatable whether the superior is right on this or not. It is an understandable preservation instinct. However, some might argue that a stronger employee will bring better results and the credit for the better results goes to the manager, anyway.

The employee is also not so happy to go for a job beneath his skills and knowledge. On the long run he surely feels frustrated for being used in petty tasks while the company could benefit more from using his higher skills.

But none considers the other side of the story- the passion that an employee has for the job. It seems that passion does not really matter. When you are passionate about your job, you will study more, get better qualifications, and improve your skills. You would do everything you can to become the best you can be. So you become better than your peers in the same position and so you become overqualified, just because you love your job more than the others.

No one asks you how passionate you are about the job and the specific tasks that you are doing on a daily basis when they rush to judge you as overqualified. No one thinks that you might be that good because you like what you do and because you would like to stay in the same job you love without wanting to take down your superior. Or that you are willing to take the market wage even if you are better than most just because you love your job.

It comes the time that your passion leads to over qualification for any job you might hold.
So what are you going to do?

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