In most cases, we are interested in and apply for jobs that we are at least somewhat qualified for. There may be stretch positions that bring us to the next level in our careers and those that we only hope to aspire to one day in the future. Nevertheless it is quite natural to set our sights upwards in our career.
However, there are times and situations when we are overqualified for a position but are interested nonetheless.
The dilemma of the overqualified job seeker really burgeoned several years ago. With less hiring, less new jobs, less corporate growth there was more need for those in the job market to consider positions below their level. While the situation has improved, there are still those who consider and even pursue a position for which they are overqualified.This maybe a necessity or simply a choice for any of a variety of reasons.
Job seekers may voluntarily lower their aspirations because they want to enter a new industry or change occupations. They may also have no choice when they are unemployed for an extended period of time.
While a job seeker may be willing to lower their ambitions, a potential employer may be apprehensive. Employers may be concerned that an over-qualified employee will be bored and unchallenged. They may believe the potential employee will require lavish compensation and ultimately leave when a more appropriate position comes their way.
As such, if you are considering a role that you might be overqualified for it is best to come prepared with logical and sincere answers to these concerns.
Boredom is in the eyes of the beholder! It is important to know the details of the position you are interested in and correspondingly be able to articulate what will be particularly engaging to you. Additionally, in every new job there will be areas of unfamiliarity and something new to learn. Focus on these. Your potential future employer needs to understand that you will be motivated to perform.
Overqualified does not mean a master at everything. While level and seniority might not be as high as one would expect looking at your background, the position will be new nonetheless. As such there will be challenges and demands. This is definitely the case if you are attempting to move into a new industry. In these situations, you can balance the lower level position with the challenge of infiltrating a new industry and assimilating its ins,outs and inevitable nuances.
This is a major obstacle and concern on both sides of the interview table. Before even beginning to consider a position at a level lower than you are accustomed to, know the compensation and affirm you are completely comfortable and able to live on your potential new salary. A wise person once said to me “make sure when you get your paycheck you are not unhappy or frustrated.” If you are clear on this, be prepared to articulate it. You may want to be upfront about what might be the elephant in the room. Perhaps you are at the stage in your career where you have some savings or have made some smart investments and can thereby afford a slightly smaller salary for a time. Practical and realistic planning will go a long way to allay fears and concerns.