Perhaps you’ve been told you’re overqualified for a job? Certainly not anything anyone wants to hear when they need work. But what does that really mean for your job and career prospects?
There are many potentially legitimate reasons for not hiring people for a job. Especially if they have way too much experience or skills for the job as defined by the employer:
- They feel you’ll be bored and leave soon.
- Or you’ll be looking for new things to suggest all the time. And not doing what you should.
- You’ll tell your boss how to do the job.
- Maybe you’ll be miserable by work so “beneath” you.
- You’ll feel undervalued compared to what you could be doing.
Taking the “wrong job for me” decision out of your hands
All that assumes you aren’t smart enough to understand what it is you’re committing to. And that you won’t honor a basic commitment. While some folks might not, most of us when faced with cat food or doing a job well, will do the job well. (This does not apply to my cat.)
But for those folks in the Baby Boomer years (me included) looking for career change. Or just a job you’re quite willing to stick with. Overqualified can be a nice excuse for not hiring older workers. Come armed with the reasons why they should hire you:
- You understand responsibility.
- Know how to work well with people of all ages and background.
- You can see opportunity in things younger workers might miss.
- Strong problem solving skills and can often anticipate and help avoid problems – saving your boss money and time.
- You can help bring solutions to business processes others might not see.
- You have a great attitude about work and life and see things in perspective.
- And most of all — if given the opportunity, you will give it your all.
While some employers will never get past the “older” part, others will give you a chance if you believe in yourself. And you clearly help them see the reasons you would make a great hire.
Most of all, believe in yourself
So if someone tells you you’re overqualified for a job, don’t just say ok. Look them in the eyes with a pleasantly determined smile. And let them know with full confidence why you actually are rightly qualified. Help them see how well you will fit in, and what a great addition you’d be.
[Article updated in 2020]