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Overqualified? Yes, but Happy to Have a Job? Or maybe not so happy?

 
 
msolga
 
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2010 09:39 pm
I came acrooss this article in the NYT a sort while ago & wondered about how many people here might actually be in this situation.

Does this describe the circumstances that you, or someone close to you, is in?

If so, despite being over-qualified for your current job, are you (as the article suggests) happy & relieved to have work at such a difficult time anyway?

Or are you chafing at the bit? Doing time unhappily till something better comes along?

I also wondered about folk who are under-employed. Who might be working fewer hours, possibly on a casual basis, than they'd prefer because that is all that's available ...

BUT THEN, what about those of you who have consciously chosen to down-size your work expectations? Who might have decided that the type of job you are actually qualified for might just have be too demanding, taking up too much of your life .... & have chosen a simpler, less demanding, less financially rewarding way to go with work?

Anyway, whatever your situation, I'll be very interested to hear what you have to say
.

Quote:
Overqualified? Yes, but Happy to Have a Job
By MICHAEL LUO
Published: March 28, 2010/NYT


GRANDVIEW, Mo. " Don Carroll, a former financial analyst with a master’s degree in business administration from a top university, was clearly overqualified for the job running the claims department for Cartwright International, a small, family-owned moving company here south of Kansas City.

Don Carroll, once a financial analyst, is now a claims manager for a moving company, working with Diana Quinn, an adjuster.

But he had been out of work for six months, and the department badly needed modernization after several decades of benign neglect. It turned out to be a perfect match.


After being hired in December, Mr. Carroll, 31, quickly set about revamping the four-person department, which settles damage claims from moves, and creating tracking tools so the company could better understand its spending.

Conventional wisdom warns against hiring overqualified candidates like Mr. Carroll, who often find themselves chafing at their new roles. (The posting for his job had specified “bachelor’s degree preferred but not required.”) But four months into his employment, it seems to be working out well for all involved.

It is a situation being repeated across the country as the aspirations of many workers have been recalibrated amid the recession, enabling some companies to reap unexpected rewards.

A result is a new cadre of underemployed workers dotting American companies, occupying slots several rungs below where they are accustomed to working. These are not the more drastic examples of former professionals toiling away at “survival jobs” at Home Depot or Starbucks. They are the former chief financial officer working as comptroller, the onetime marketing director who is back to being an analyst, the former manager who is once again an “individual contributor.”


The phenomenon was probably inevitable in a labor market in which job seekers outnumber openings five to one. Employers are seizing the opportunity to stock up on discounted talent, despite the obvious risks that the new hires will become dissatisfied and leave. “They’re trying to really professionalize this company,” said Mr. Carroll, who is the sole breadwinner for his family of four and had lost his home to foreclosure. “I’ve been able to play a big role in that.”

In some cases, of course, the new employees fail to work out, forcing the company through the process of hiring and training someone else. ...<cont>

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/29/us/29overqualified.html
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2010 10:05 pm
@msolga,
OK, I'll go first: A few years ago I chose to give up permanent full-time work.
Why? Because I felt totally burnt out after years & years of full-time teaching. Also because I had a lot of personal "issues" on my plate at the time ... & just felt I wasn't coping with any aspect of my life that wonderfully.

Anyway, I had had enough & though I tried, permanent part-time work was not an available option at that time.

I went through a period of year-long contract positions at different schools for a few years. (often very happy when the year came to an end! Wink ) .

Now I work casually.

The interesting & surprising thing, I discovered, was that I became really, really (& I mean really!!! Wink ) enthusiastic about teaching again! That was the last thing I expected! Surprised

Apart from that, my priorities changed completely. Partly due to having a lot less $$$$ to throw around, but largely, I think, as a result of having the time, for the first time in years, to spend in non-work ways. Interesting how much thought & consideration was put into considerations like: what meals I would cook? Where is the best place to buy good quality food economically? Do I really need some of those things I'd previously thought of "essentials"? And I actually had time to think again, after stumbling from work day to work day, almost like a robot, for the past few years.

I can't say it's all been terrific, if I'm being honest, though. I worry about money & getting bills paid a lot more than ever before. And sometimes I think I'd really like to travel again, but can't see that happening any time soon ...

But I really have to say, I felt saner & happier than I had for years ... once of got over the initial "adjustments".
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2010 10:09 pm
@msolga,
But I do recall, prior to this, being rejected for some jobs I applied for (when I longed for less demanding work) because they considered me "over-qualified". The theory was: you won't stay in this job because you'll get bored.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2010 10:18 pm
I do hope I'm not the only one to post here! Smile
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2010 10:33 pm
@msolga,
Could I also ask, of any of you who are looking for work, have you found that there are considerably fewer jobs in the field that you are qualified for ?

Do you wonder if you might have to settle (for a time at least) for work options that you are technically over-qualified for?
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 05:20 am
@msolga,
Well, my decision to retire early was one that grew out of a conviction that I really had more to do in areas not related to my primary gaggle of jobs.

Ive been asked to work on service boards and community based projects and even though I was asked toserve because of some job skills, Ive found that many of these skills are applicable to areas outside of the area of just breaking rocks and looking at them under a scope, like time and project management, construction detail and basic money raising.

An area opened up to me that was a necessity in my retraining. In all these community activities, I find that I am no longer solely in charge and Im definately NOT the final word , I spend more time in general schmoozing, a thing I never realized I could do , let alone do well.

Im now in the process of trying to find and bring on a key employee to serve as capital fund raiser for a major building and operations campaign for our local libraries.

I find that Im as enthusiastic about these activities as I was when I first started in my day job career.MAybe my next stage in life is gonna be focused more on giving back (I hate that phrase but its accurate) and Ill see how I do.

OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 05:39 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
BUT THEN, what about those of you who have consciously chosen to down-size your work expectations?
Who might have decided that the type of job you are actually qualified for might just have be too demanding,
taking up too much of your life .... & have chosen a simpler, less demanding, less financially rewarding way to go with work?

Anyway, whatever your situation, I'll be very interested to hear what you have to say
.
My last job was very undemanding n comfortable; rather free of annoyances,
but when I retired from it, I felt pleased and relieved.
I ask myself whether I am overqualified for retirement;
I answer myself: " I dunno, but I enjoy the freedom of doing whatever I dam please,
whenever I want and not having to be anywhere unless I arrange it otherwise, on a social basis."

Kinda fun. Freedom is fun.

Quoth Carly Simon: "These are the Good Old Days . . ."




David
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 05:40 am
Well, I am looking for work. My first permanent job at a stable company since 2000 (that had its best year ever in 2009, BTW), was outsourced to some lovely folks on the subcontinent (e. g. I didn't work there any longer than I had at my last three temp assignments). And then, of course, the company realized that no one knew how to do not only my job but also the jobs of half of the other people who were downsized (oops, no one knew how to update the ecommerce site!).

Anyway, I'm using it as an opportunity to redefine myself yet again and try to get a new career in social media marketing/community management (yes, you can work as a moderator-type person for an actual salary). Not easy to find work but I am networking up a storm. An SM/CM (social media/community manager) role tends to be one for a more mature organization. So startup guys like me but have nothing for me. But they might in 3 - 6 - 12 months or so. Hence I hang in there and keep networking. In the meantime I also blog and am building my own site in an effort to better market myself and put my writing samples and other evidence of my competence all in one easy to find place.

As for more traditional-type jobs, there are definitely openings and there is interest in me if I had wanted to return to data analysis full-time. And that may end up happening if Unemployment runs out before I find a gig. Right now that's several months away. First extension, if I get to it, is in about 2 months. The first extension is, I believe for 20 more weeks so that takes me to October or so. http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=elwdpressrelease&L=1&L0=Home&sid=Elwd&b=pressrelease&f=second_extension&csid=Elwd

I've heard of a lot of people who remain (and not just at the place I was outsourced from) who are dissatisfied. It's not just overqualified people, it's also overworked people. Gee, what a big surprise. Give people three times as much work to do at the same salary and they're pissed off and depressed? My God! Why aren't those people ecstatic to be working at all???

Gadzooks so much of management hasn't got a blessed clue.
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 05:51 am
all i want form a job is a paycheck, in return i will do the job required (and usually a bit beyond, sometimes to the extreme)

i'm not interested in being head of a department, steady work, check at the end of the week

i've never defined myself by my job
OmSigDAVID
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:01 am
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:
all i want form a job is a paycheck,
in return i will do the job required (and usually a bit beyond, sometimes to the extreme)

i'm not interested in being head of a department, steady work, check at the end of the week

i've never defined myself by my job
R u being inconsistent, or oxymoronic ?

or maybe u refuse to be paid on a weekly basis ?





David
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:32 am
@OmSigDAVID,
umm, seems pretty clear

i want a check every week (or two weeks depending on the pay schedule)

in return i'll do my job

not so much worried what the job is, i define my self worth by things other than job titles or pay scale, as long as i have enough to get by i'm happy
mismi
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:49 am
@msolga,
Hey Olga -

Quote:
If so, despite being over-qualified for your current job, are you (as the article suggests) happy & relieved to have work at such a difficult time anyway?


My husband lost his job right before Thanksgiving last year. He is an internal auditor, compliance and medicare...all medical related through hospitals or nursing homes. He has a MBA, CPA, CIA and has been VP of the IIA. There continue to be layoffs at the hospital he worked for. He did find a job within three weeks though.

We were so thankful since we had been told there were strong possibilities we would have to move in order to find a job in his field - of course it was not in management - which is where he was before. He is basically a staff auditor now. Of course we took an unbelievable hit in income. Staggering. But we have cut back drastically.

I am a music teacher at a preschool three days a week...and I love it, couldn't do without it, but I am having to pick up other jobs along the way. I now will be teaching art / art history classes to elementary age children for 5 week sessions. It is mostly homeschooled kids. And I am substitute teaching at a few of my local schools. With three of my own children and baseball season here (they all three play)...I am exhausted.

But when I think about some of the people I know and how they went 8 months without a job - some still do not have jobs...well - all I can feel is relief.
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 06:53 am
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:
umm, seems pretty clear
If u say so.



djjd62 wrote:
i want a check every week (or two weeks depending on the pay schedule)
One may wonder Y u denied that, saying:
"i'm not interested in . . . check at the end of the week"

djjd62
 
  3  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:20 am
@OmSigDAVID,
let's not play semantics, i'm an anti-semantic

djjd62 wrote:
i'm not interested in being head of a department, steady work, check at the end of the week


should read

i'm not interested in being head of a department, steady work and a check at the end of the week is fine by me (sorry for any confusion this may have caused)
plainoldme
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:23 am
Ah, yes. After graduating from college, I took civil service tests and became a welfare case worker while working on a master's degree in English and a teaching certificate. I taught for a year and found that I could not stand spending an entire day in one room, so I happily moved on to journalism. Then I married and moved to New Hampshire.

My view was that since I had been an assistant editor, I had management experience. My ex insisted I work only in NH, not in MA, only two miles away. Driving home from an interview to serve as former Gov. Meldrim Thomson's press secretary, I saw workers hanging a marquee on a new employment agency.

I called immediately. The woman who answered identified herself as the president of the new firm. After I capsulized my C.V. for her, she told me that I was virtually unemployable. I said that I had been employed since graduation and her response was: That was in the Midwest. Here, in New England, we have standards.

I soon took a job as the publicist for a small Catholic college and then became a mom, staying home for more years than intended. Then, for many reasons, including recovering from my marriage and gaining some of those "New England standards," I earned a second masters from one of the traditional Ivy covered towers. Since then I have earned less than $20,000/annum, temping, substitute teaching, retailing, shelving library books and more.

I work six or seven days a week for this small amount of money so I have neither sufficient money nor time. On the other hand, I love my community college teaching post. . . one of the top three jobs of my life and one for which I am totally qualified . . . the problem is one three hour class pays $2,500 for the 16-week semester.
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:28 am
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:
R u being inconsistent, or oxymoronic ?


inconsistent i may be, but i'm straight up moron, nothing oxy about me

i have been called a pseudo-intellectual, which i believe means i'm not only smart but half-japanese
mismi
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:33 am
@djjd62,
I think "smart ass" should be in there somewhere Didge Wink
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:55 am
@farmerman,
This is great!

I was thinking no one was going to respond to this thread. (Maybe my questions were a bit on the nosy side, I wondered?) Anyway, it's so interesting to read all your different responses ...



I'm wondering, farmer, did you find it difficult not being in charge in your new position/s at first? (I know I found that rather hard to adapt to when I first started working casually. Took quite a while to get used to. )

Quote:
I find that Im as enthusiastic about these activities as I was when I first started in my day job career.MAybe my next stage in life is gonna be focused more on giving back (I hate that phrase but its accurate) and Ill see how I do.


Funny, that, isn't it? Once the daily 9 to 5 pressure is off, work looks & feels a whole lot different, doesn't it?

I must say, you sound very versatile. And it doesn't sound like your "retirement" is going to be dull! Who knows what will present itself next?

Focusing on community & "giving back", being in a position where you're able to do it, even ... is terrific, I think. Half your luck! Smile
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 08:00 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
I ask myself whether I am overqualified for retirement...


I'd never considered such a notion before, David! Wink

Quote:
I answer myself: " I dunno, but I enjoy the freedom of doing whatever I dam please,
whenever I want and not having to be anywhere unless I arrange it otherwise, on a social basis."


Sounds like retirement suits you perfectly!
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 08:13 am
@msolga,
Quote:
I'm wondering, farmer, did you find it difficult not being in charge in your new position/s at first?
Im fairly adaptable so, whike it was different enough for me to notice, I found it comfortable working within a group where we all have equal partnerships. SO, no not really.
Ive been hearing all sides of a debate and, when in public, we all seem to be equally sensitive to each others opinion.
0 Replies
 
 

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