Overqualified v Inexperienced

This statement calls for a string of over-used but highly appropriate clichés…

A catch-22 situation.

Caught between a rock and a hard place.

No win situation.

Between the hammer and the anvil.

The list goes on…

Remember when you were fresh out of school? Keen to make your mark on the world. Excited to make your first dollar. Looking forward to making a difference – making a contribution. You started “knocking on doors“…

Suddenly you realised that all the enthusiasm in the world was not going to make up for a lack of experience in your chosen field. Whether it be years of study or oodles of aptitude, it seems that potential employers wanted one thing – proven experience.

How on earth can you gain experience if you are never given the opportunity?! How can you prove yourself without the chance to even try? Surely with your excitement, your freshness, your years of study or perhaps nothing but pure aptitude… surely you are worth the gamble… surely someone is willing to take the risk of great reward as you embark on your journey into a working life.

The flipside to this coin is for someone with years of experience and a proven record in their field. Someone who is ready for a change of pace in their career – maybe to knock it back a gear or two, or even to get off the beaten track of their career path and switch it into four-wheel-drive.

Someone with a treasure trove of wisdom to impart to the next generation coming up through the ranks. Someone who wants to get back in touch with their grassroots, to find the original flame that ignited their passion… surely that person, should they choose not to continue climbing the corporate ladder and decide to take a sideways leap of faith, applying for an unexpected role… Surely that person would be nothing short of a gold mine and mentor for their lesser experienced colleagues?

So what do you do when you get caught between a rock and a hard place? What do you do if a potential employer considers you “overqualified” or “inexperienced”?… The only thing you can do is keep knocking on doors! Keep searching for that job – that steppingstone or that leap of faith. You will eventually find that opportunity, or person, who has the same vision as you. That someone who is willing to give you a chance, no matter how many years of experience or lack thereof that you bring to the table.

So whether you are the “old hand“ or “new kid on the block“, keep the flame burning, and the important thing – as a wise person I know often says – is to “never give up!”

Do you have an “overqualified“ or “inexperienced“ story to tell?

4 thoughts on “Overqualified v Inexperienced

  1. Geez girl you got it mad haven’t you? Every time you put a pen to paper the musing grows until ones thoughts are stirred and perhaps ones destination changes. To answer your question Overqualified V Inexperienced both are applicable to any business. The overqualified may be looking for a change in outlook. Our current postman is one such person he took the gamble and if you like downsized his work from a corporate executive to a postie and he is loving it except for the rain! Some years past we had a business and would often employ inexperience school leavers. Here we found there was an untapped gold mine of fresh thinking. We harnessed this by asking the newbie after they had been working with us for around two weeks, what they thought of the business and what they would change if the business was theirs? We had some amazing experiences with the new thinking. It is I think of giving ownership of their thinking back to them. Then allowing them to make “their” change. Once they can see that they are valued then more and more suggestions come to the fore and the inexperienced gain knowledge and become experienced. Allowing a newbie to redesign a sales display of goods that weren’t selling leading to a goods out of stock situation. New eyes see things differently, that is fresh uncontaminated eyes can help solve many a problem. So I’m saying there’s room for either and acceptance will be determined by the interview. Next

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    1. Rob I couldn’t agree more with all of your sentiments… I feel that people should be valued as individuals with their input & skills received and considered on their merit… Not influenced by their resume or lack thereof.
      Businesses (large or small) should take a leaf out of your book and follow these suggestions – they might end up in a much better place if they did.
      It is often about what motivates the person to apply for the job that will reflect in their performance of the job.
      For example, when someone in management decides they want to step off corporate ladder and get back to doing what they love, the job that brought them to that place in the first instance, then it is likely – even with a pay cut – that they will put their “heart & soul“ into the work, simply because they really want to do it!
      Exactly the same can be said of the aspiring newbie – if they are really keen and show an aptitude, then they may well perform as well or better than someone else who might be more in it for the money or as a steppingstone to greater heights.
      I believe that wanting – really wanting – to do the job is definitely a contributing factor to performance and ultimately a proven track record.

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  2. Love your words Anna they always strike a cord, so true to life, the reality of life. The trick is to strike the match and light the fire that burns in each and every one of us. Then about the wanting? Many years ago I met an engine fitter who wanted a job building Sulzer marine diesel engines. He just loved these engines and wanted to be apart of that company. Alas in his first approach he was knocked back but over the course of the next two years he made a lot of applications to this company, one a month at the least. Finally some 2 years later he received a phone call requesting that he attend an interview. At this interview the only question he was asked was “Why do you want to come and work for us?” His response was “Well I have worked on these engines for other engineering companies, I just love the engineering that goes into building and developing your engines. So I said to myself why not work for the company that makes these engines? And so here I am!” he got the job underwent some company training and then found himself flying all over the world representing the company and resolving their problems. So to really answer your question re Overqualified V Inexperience the answer to this riddle is, First determine where the passion is coming from and then feed the passion.

    Liked by 1 person

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