KulturImPuls

Culture, Communication and Learning for thriving in times of change

Horrible – I am overqualified

Posted by jjerlich on 20. September 2017

I have been reading from, working with, coaching and support highly qualified people with the skills our businesses need.

At the same time companies claim that they do not find the skills they need.

Something is seriously wrong!

Here is an article from a highly creative person, powerful and driven – I want to share with you today.

TEAMHUMAN

What do you do when you are overqualified?

Working

My story starts with my 5-year search for my dream job. Before starting my narrative, I will provide you with a key piece of information: I have a 5-year gap in my professional career during which I was a flight attendant

How terrible !!!! How can someone change their career path for 5 years to see something else and then come back to the real “professional world”?

At the time, call me naïve; I had no idea that most of the people I would meet would put me in a box, i.e. the “Air Hostess” box, which is so hard to escape. At this point, I feel that it is important for me to provide some perspective to this “most terrible of professions” … being a flight attendant.

It is one of the hardest jobs in the world! You are permanently tired because of the shifts, working on planes is physically exhausting, you have to look good and represent the values of the airline brand at all times. But worst of all, you need to be polite and serve thousands of passengers every month, regardless of their moods, which you can believe me, is often bad. Air travel today is a far cry from the luxurious experience it once was. So, believe me when I tell you that being a flight attendant teaches you customer service on steroids.

After a long period of intensive job searching, finally someone saw my potential, gave me a chance and hired me. I was fortunate, it was a good job and I learnt a lot. Things were moving pretty fast and quite nicely, until the day the company decided to relocate abroad, and sadly, I had to move on.

Since then, I have been doing gazillion interviews … for zero outcome. I have received offers, but they weren’t what I expected.

For 90% of recruiters, the questions were not very original and focused on the following point: how come you became a flight attendant (I didn’t know I had to explain myself so extensively on this matter), and obviously the answer to my explanation was: “well… you don’t have enough experience in your field of expertise and activity! Really??? 5 years out of a 15-year career were putting my professional fate in the balance?

Being seriously downhearted about the lack of progress vis-à-vis job searching, the day finally arrived: I hired a headhunter, I paid a fair amount of money to help me understand what’s wrong with me, my CV, my positioning. The professional analysis that was made on my CV, career, employment track, studies was a surprise to say the least and was quite unexpected.

She simply told me: “You are overqualified! I don’t think even I can imagine the face I made when I answered “WHAT?”

She then explained to me the simple facts of my CV: “You have enough studies to be in different sectors, you are driven, hands on and quite a personality, most of the jobs out there, they demand character and creativity, but in reality, what they really want is someone that sticks to this “bloody” predefined (easy-to-categorize) box and doesn’t seek to get out of it. Your crime is that you did”.

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