Friday, April 27, 2012

Being Overqualified is Actually a Good Thing

[Note: Before I forget, my next 4-Week Accelerated Coaching Program starts in a few weeks...are you ready for BIG transformation results in your career? Achieve your dream biz goal in just weeks, space is limited so check it out now! Here's to your success! ~Alex]

When you're in a state of transition, as many of my clients are, you may sometimes find yourself feeling like a small fish again in a big ocean. You have so many years of work experience, but if you are changing careers or starting your own business, this process may seem overwhelming. It's like being at square one again. You may even find yourself "underqualified" in many skills or experiences, even with years or decades as a professional. 

Just recently I asked a couple of PR/marketing agencies if I could shadow them for a few months to gain more agency experience. Many of the principals were shocked at my request and I received a similar response from many of them..."But you're so overqualified, you've even written a book!" I felt like my experience was more detrimental than anything else.

Another friend of mine who has held managerial roles in finance companies for over a decade, recently began studying to become a CPA and needed real-life accounting experience. To land an internship position at an accounting firm, she decided to leave out her supervisory experience on her resume. Otherwise, she believed she would never get hired for this position she was clearly too qualified for. 

It's such a pity when we feel bad for our experiences and credentials, or that we have to "dumb down" to such a level to get a position.  

I don't believe you're ever too old to learn new skills, to transition careers or to even start a brand new career in something you've never done before. Heck, lots of retired folks I know became amazing artists, craftsmen and entrepreneurs in their 60s and 70s! 

When in doubt, create your own job and career path that merges your background and your new goals in life. That way noone can ever discount your past work experience.

I found myself in this similar situation when I transitioned out of banking a few years ago, into the arts, media and marketing world. At first I started on a very narrow path I thought I should take, but felt lost pretty quickly. 

When I self-reflected on my purpose in life, what I was good at and what I loved to do, it became clear as day that I needed to become a coach. Coaching of course requires training, but I didn't need to get a whole other advanced degree such as a psychologist or attorney requires. And it allowed me to incorporate all my background...even the business side which I swore off when I left the corporate world! 

Along the way I've taken coaching courses, become more spiritually aware and continued enrolling in business and leadership programs to round out my training. My new path even led me to write a book... another passion of mine that had become dormant while I was in the corporate world.

I'll end with a success story of one of my clients who decided to transition into the wellness industry after a decade of advertising and corporate experience. After she started her own business, she needed to make ends meet while the business took of, so she looked for jobs that she knew she could handle but was clearly "overqualified" for. She received responses like "You run your own company, why would you want to work here?" and "Do you think you'll be able to run your business and still complete the duties in this job?" How terrible... I really empathized with her situation. But I also knew she was worth so much more.

Finally one day she found her dream sales job, which was flexible enough to allow her to continue running her own business. Plus this new company found all of her experience perfect for the new role--her past work experience plus her new industry experience--and they loved that her business synergized with the company's goals.

The moral here is that your background--no matter what it is--gives you your you-nique set of experiences that you bring to the table, that make you you-nique and suited for your perfect job. Always be proud of your accomplishments. If you're still in the process of looking, remember that one day you will find or create the perfect job, career or "zone" that is perfectly suited for you. And in this case, being overqualified will suit you just perfectly! 

To learn more about how I can help you transition careers, find your path or assist you to become more successful in your chosen path, please check out my coaching services or my success e-program Sculpt Your Life From Sketch to Masterpiece. Here's to your personal and professional development!

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