Overqualified and Underpaid: Your Career Detour
So you’re doing a job you are over qualified for. That’s not that uncommon these days. I have friends who are working in positions they had mastered several years back. They have more education, experience, skill and knowledge than the job requires, and yet, they find themselves performing tasks that those whom worked for them used to do. Whether you are in this situation because of a life transition, a re-entry into the work force or a corporate restructure, you might be tempted to be frustrated and even disillusioned. Before you get too discouraged consider:
You are not defined by what you do. For most guys this is easier said than done. We often have too much of our identity tied up in our careers. I know I do. I often need to be reminded that who I am as a person is much more important than what I do as a professional.
Strong performance gets rewarded. Starting over is not fun because there’s no challenge in doing something you’ve done before, but it also allows you not to make some of the same mistakes and to move faster through familiar territory. Performers get noticed and rewarded. Do a good job and soon you’ll be back at the varsity team.
There’s purpose and meaning even in life’s detours. Some of my greatest professional and personal accomplishments have come from the seemingly disastrous. I would have not started The A Group without being asked to leave a business I helped start and that owed me a lot of money I never saw. Sometimes the detour is a blessing in disguise. I know that’s not much consolation while you’re in the early days of the detour, but if you stick with it long enough, you’ll be able to see the positive in it.