How do I overcome the overqualified  tag labelled on me?

Friday December 18 2020
By Moses Ssesanga

Dear Moses,
Before the lockdown, I had resigned from my job. I was working as a chemist. I wanted to focus on a small business I expected to grow. However, the corona virus pandemic crippled it before I could take off. I’ve been looking for jobs, I was considering trying teaching chemistry but most of the places I have tried say I am overqualified. How do I overcome the overqualified tag? Joshua. 

Dear  Joshua,
Employers whether rightly or wrongly always base their assumptions about hiring overqualified candidates for a job on the following:
1. You’ll be easily bored and unmotivated given that the job is lower in your estimation and not challenging enough for the person of your competencies.
2. That the salary will be too low for you, given your competencies and exposure, hence become demotivated from the onset. 
3. That you’ll be unhappy when you start thinking about how this job would impact your CV, that your peers will think you are regressing instead of advancing in your career.
4. You’ll leave the minute something better comes along, hence assumed unstable on the job

5. That you won’t be happy working for a manager with less experience than that you possess and you may even scheme to take the manager’s role, hence becoming a source of conflict at the workplace.
The challenge you therefore have,  is to marshal your maturity and assure your potential employers of your willingness to deliver to your best despite the above assumptions. 

Admit that you’re also worried and concerned that your potential employer may think that your qualifications might be a problem. However, by showing maturity and courage to admit and even table the issue for discussion may in the end work to your advantage.

Secondly, take the salary discussion off the table by making it clear beforehand that you’re flexible about the lower salary offer and that your previous earnings are not relevant to your current job search.
Thirdly, distance yourself from your higher qualifications. Emphasise the fact that you have a clearer understanding of what you manager will require from their person selected for the position, and that’s what you are prepared to deliver. 

Finally, commit to learn the ropes. 


Moses Ssesanga,
Head of Human Resource, 
NMG Uganda