Have you ever felt overqualified for something you really wanted to do? Or actually BEEN overqualified for something you were really interested in doing?
We have a rare full-time job opening at sparkspace. As part of our recruitment process I shared the job description with my network, including a post on my various social media accounts. One of the comments a friend of mine made really jumped out at me. She said:
“I’d apply, but I may be overqualified.”
Knowing my friends, it was probably intended to be tongue-in-cheek, but it made me wonder how many people don’t pursue jobs, careers, roles, or even projects that would be perfect for them just because they feel overqualified.
What Does Overqualified Mean Anyway?
When you feel overqualified for something that interests you, it typically means one of three things:
- It doesn’t pay enough.
- Your education, experience, or skill level is more than this job requires.
- You’re worried what people will think if you “step down” into a lesser job than you had.
I can’t do much about #1. If money is what drives you, or you have mountains of debt to pay off, or you have your heart set on a beach house, then you probably need to pursue opportunities that will help you finance these things.
#2 is legit, but only if you WANT to do what you’ve been trained to do. I’ve seen people who have invested tons of time, energy, and money into a degree or a career path and feel like they can’t just “throw it all away” to pursue something else…even if that something else would light them up WAY more than what they’re currently doing.
To anyone experiencing #3, I’ll say this: nobody is really paying that much attention to you. Ok, maybe your parents are, but haven’t we learned anything from every After School Special ever made? You know, the ones where the parents (or husband or wife or kids or friends) eventually say to the hero of the story, “We just want you to be happy.”
If you can pursue what you love doing, and you can make a living at it, why wouldn’t you?
What To Do If You’re Overqualified
I’m gong to say something you’ve heard a million times, but maybe this time it will mean something to you:
Life is short. Do what you love, love what you do.
And don’t let a silly little thing like being overqualified stand in your way.