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Too Good for Your Job? Ways to Cope for the Overqualified Employee December 25, 2013

Posted by dapinoyemployee in Jobhunting Pinoy Style.
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It’s not easy making a shift. Any shift means moving out of your comfort zone, adapting, doing things you’ve never done before and trying stuff you never imagined you would/could do. Imagine getting hired for a job for which you are overqualified. You know far more than the position requires and have far better qualifications and training for the job. What do you do?

In an uneasy job market, it should be a sin to be too picky. Of course, that is not to say that you have to sell yourself short. However, there are times when we have to grab what we could. Sometimes, a stable job is hard to come by and we do have bills to pay.

If you happen to be overqualified for your job and have a nagging feeling that you may not be doing too well, think for a minute. What you see as a deadend or a boring mudhole may just be your ticket to a better resume. Here are ways how to cope and change your perspective:

First, don’t hate your job. Whatever it may be, it is the difference between you coming home with a regular check and getting kicked out of your apartment. It is the difference between your family having three good meals a day and having to make do with instant noodles and canned sardines. It is the difference between your child having the chance to go to school and quitting the whole school year.

If you hate your job because you are overqualified, remember this: your anger, frustrations and resentment are misplaced. It is not your job’s fault that you are where you are right now. Circumstances (some of which may be unavoidable)  have put you in a place where you may have to struggle just to survive. If you’ve been thrown at sea with no life vest on, consider your job as your lifesaver. Hang on to it for the meantime. Appreciate it for what it gives you at the moment. It may not be a lot, it may not be what you are used to receiving or it may not be what you feel you deserve but it is better than nothing.

Don’t hate your company. Like your job, it is not your employer’s fault that you lost your old job or that you had to make do with the job you now have. Keep in mind that your company means to run a business and as a business, it wants to turn a profit. Be thankful that they hired you. Not many companies are willing to take chances with an overqualified applicant but the fact that they let you in is enough reason for you to be thankful. Count your blessings. Would you rather be working in your job right now or pounding the pavement in search of a job?

Do what you can to shine. Grow where you are planted. It’s a cliche, I know but it can work wonders for you. Never think of your job as “beneath” you. Remember that a job is only mediocre because you are doing a mediocre job. Don’t let a bad attitude ruin your chances and abilities to do a great job. Challenge yourself, perform better. If you slack off and stop caring, it will show. Worse, you will find that you suck at a job you actually hate. Do better everyday. Better yet, think about what you will put on your resume for jobhunting later. If you truly are overqualified, show that you know better and do your job well.

Make it better. If you have the experience, skills and knowledge, use these to think of ways on how you can contribute to the processes involved in your company. Make a list of things that can be improved and work on them. Make suggestions, prepare a plan. If you are as good as you claim to be, it will show. Challenge yourself if you have to.

Build your network. Personal and business connections are invaluable in the marketplace, so don’t be shy or act like you’re better than everybody else. Build relationships, join teams and learn as much as you can. You’ll be surprised at how useful these new connections will be later on.

Make a plan. If you can never see yourself working for the same company in the next few years, have an exit strategy. Have a clear understanding about what you want, what you have right now and where you want to go. Write down concrete steps about what you can do to progress from your current job and follow your dream career path.

Be nice to your employer. Just because they don’t pay you as well as your old employer did does not mean they deserve disrespect from you. Be careful where you tread on this one because it can reveal your character. Don’t badmouth your employer, grumble at work, complain about work conditions (unless the complaints are legitimate), compare your new job to your old one or diss your boss just to show how much you know. Remember that your employer was nice enough to hire you. Don’t prove to them that they made a mistake by doing so. Besides, you don’t want to mess with your boss who has the power to send you packing. When you’re out there looking for a new job, you may not like what they’ll tell a potential employer during a background check.

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