When you play the high-stakes game of poker, you either have a winning hand or you are bluffing. When you play the high-stakes game of job interviewing, you are either more or less skilled then your competition. There is no right or wrong answer mind you. You are who you are and there is no use in trying to hide it. No, what you should do is hedge your bets and not enter into the over/under game if you can help it. Sometimes, you may have no other choice. When you are labeled, “over-qualified” by your “less-qualified” interviewer, do you fold or do you bluff?
It’s not suppose to be an ageist society but now when you find yourself competing with college grads (or sometimes not) who have something (you’re not sure what) that puts them in the driver’s seat questioning you about your experience, you can scratch your head and ponder how you got here or, you can shut, up, listen up and engage. You have a lot to offer anyone if you have more than ten (10) years business experience. You’ve learned something after all which is of value whether you take it for granted or not. Leveraging what you know against your perceived “over-value” is not easy but it’s something you have to learn how to do especially if you are venturing into unchartered territory-new media. The world is spinning ever faster than before so in order to avoid falling off, you better bring on you’re A-game and not look to disguise, discount or discourage your talents no matter how impressive your resume is compared to the guy who is looking to hire you.
When you find yourself in front of smart people who were probably in diapers when you cut your teeth on your first job (while they were cutting theirs on a binky) you might start to feel a might bit uncomfortable and think-how did I become too qualified? There is no such thing as being “over-qualified” for ANYTHING. There is something as being naïve or “under-qualified” for something and when those folks are making the hiring decision you might think you don’t stand a chance. Not so. You are in as good a place as any, maybe even better to provide the level of depth and experience your qualifications offer to the less, although sometimes arrogant newbie.
If you are feeling like you are in an endless cycle playing the over/under game, don’t become discouraged. You have what it takes to lead by example and show the less experienced that your contributions can save them time, money and undue stress if they make the right hiring decision up front. That hiring decision of course includes hiring YOU! Sometimes they get it; sometimes they may miss the mark. Either way, you should not feel discouraged when someone thinks you “over” anything. Remember better to be over the top then under a rock crawling figuring how to crawl out.
Finding the right balance in any endeavor even when contemplating whether you should apply for a job lest you be considered “over-qualified” is the difference between staying in the game of folding your hand before the ante is too high. Knowing who you are, what you can bring to the table and learning not to waiver in your convictions because you are actually GREAT at what you do is your first step. There is no reason to feel bad about yourself because you actually know what you are doing. Your skills, experience and your commitment to your craft gives you an edge on the other “under-qualified” candidate whether you get a job offer or not. Just think, do you really want to work for a company who would rather higher the “under-qualified” person over the “over-qualified” person because they are afraid you might actually know what you are doing? Seems to me like a no-brainer but then again, I’d probably qualify as an “over” vs. an “under” any day of the week! And just so you know, it has NOTHING to do with your age just your mind-set and of course the size of your resume. Placing bets anyone?
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