Now that the holiday season has come to a close and most businesses are getting back into the swing of things, you may be tempted to dust off your resume and start seeking out new job opportunities -- especially if you're currently unemployed and desperate for money. In fact, you may be so eager to snag a new role that you go out and apply to jobs you're clearly more than qualified to do.
It's a good strategy in theory. After all, why wouldn't a company want someone who's guaranteed to come in knowing his or her stuff? But while you might think you're boosting your chances of success by applying for roles you're overqualified for, in reality, you could end up miserable if you actually land one of those jobs. Here are a few specific reasons not to play it safe and apply for positions that fall below your skill level.
1. You'll get bored easily
We all have aspects of our jobs we aren't thrilled with, but if you end up with a role that's below your experience level, there's a good chance you'll grow bored very quickly. And once that happens, not only might your performance suffer, but you'll increase your chances of falling victim to burnout. Given the amount of time most of us spend on the job, it really pays to find a role that's likely to hold your interest and keep you engaged. A job you're overqualified for, however, won't accomplish that goal.
2. You'll stunt your career growth
It's easy to accept a role by virtue of the fact that it fits into your current plans. In other words, if you need a job and the money that comes with it, and you manage to find one by virtue of being more than qualified, you'll solve the problem of what to do with your time and how to pay the bills. But what you may not realize is that working at a job that's beneath you for even a year could constitute a major career setback in the long run.
Remember, your goal should be to continuously grow your career so that you're eligible for better opportunities down the line. If you waste your time going through the motions of a job that won't teach you anything or make you look good on paper, then you could easily end up stunting your career rather than helping it.
3. You'll earn less than you're capable of commanding
One fairly obvious reason not to apply to a job you're overqualified for is that it's likely to offer less money than a higher-level position. But what you may not realize is that your drop in earnings won't just be temporary; rather, taking too low a salary could impact your future earnings. It's often the case that employers base salary offers on candidates' current earnings levels -- so if you take a job that's beneath you and a lower salary to boot, you won't just earn less in the near-term, but rather, on a long-term basis as well.
4. There's a good chance you won't get hired in the first place
As a job candidate, it's natural to assume that if you're clearly overqualified for a given role, landing it is a sure thing. But actually, most companies and hiring managers are aware of the dangers of hiring someone who's overqualified. For one thing, what's to stop you from jumping ship the moment a better offer comes along? Furthermore, remember that on-the-job boredom we talked about earlier? The last thing any business wants is to bring someone on board who's likely to feel dissatisfied from the get-go. Applying for a job you're blatantly overqualified for isn't necessarily your ticket to a guaranteed offer. If anything, it could end up being nothing more than a glaring waste of time.
If you're in the market for a new job, it pays to seek out opportunities that match your experience level and expertise. This way, you're more likely to end up satisfied with not just your salary, but the things you actually spend your days doing.
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