What To Do When You Are Overqualified

“In today’s bottom-line workplace it’s tough for experienced career professionals to find a new job. Getting past the “”overqualified”” tag is more than half the battle. With corporate downsizing, a runaway off-shoring of jobs, and a glut of highly experienced and well-educated candidates flooding the market, it’s no wonder that many employers are telling job aspirants that they’re simply overqualified.

Why should they hire you when they can find a “”junior person”” willing to eat, sleep, and toil at the office for pennies on your journeyman’s dollar? It takes more savvy and persistence than ever for experienced professionals to beat the system.

Before crafting a strategy for bursting the job barriers, let’s look at what you’re up against. Say you’re an experienced C++ programmer. Microsoft, which has been moving with little fanfare to a large facility in Bangalore, India, can hire a local, proficient programmer to do the work at the local rate of $10,000 for which they pay Washingtonians $65,000 a year. This is just the beginning.

How bad is it going to get? Forrester Research claims that by 2015, 3.3 million professional jobs will move overseas–permanently. A Brookings Institution report predicts that high-tech centers in Connecticut, Boulder, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Massachusetts should expect 17 percent fewer jobs in software engineering and programming before the decade passes. And this is just one sector of the economy.

Overqualified? Hearing the Usual Excuses

If you’re changing careers, trying to re-enter the market after “”being downsized,”” or returning to the grind after being self-employed, you’re more than likely to hear the following during your phone-screen interview–or at your initial face-to-face meeting if you get that far:

* Why are you willing to settle for less responsibility and less money than you made before?

* How do we know you won’t grow bored and quit before we train you or leave just when we begin to depend on you?

* Aren’t…

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