Yesterday I received an email from an agency who have been looking at my skills and experience online and thought they had found a suitable position for me.
Contained within the email were the Pros and Cons the employer had listed for me. One of their issues with me as a candidate was that I had too much experience!
After years and years of applying for jobs where I was ill-qualified or inexperienced I now appear to have leap-frogged straight over the time window of the elusive, perfect balance of skills and experience into a realm of being over experienced but under qualified!!
To be fair, there’s not a lot I can do about that! Doing a job which “pays the bills” is not an optional extra when you’re married with two kids, it is a necessity! Yes, I want to do something more challenging but I don’t have the spare finance to retrain. And so for now, my fate and career satisfaction remains firmly in the hands of the HR Managers who, in a saturated job market can afford to be choosy and yet may choose an inexperienced graduate over a seasoned battler from the world of business.
The other reservation which most surprised me was that of my creativity. They stated that although my creativity is most evident in my blog, my poetry and in my spoken word performances; there was very little evidence of this in my commercial experience.
I am somewhat at a loss as to how to make a break into a creative writing/marketing career when I am doing all I can to hone my skills in my spare time (for no payment!) and yet have less opportunity in my current job!
I wonder how many of us are stuck in the 9-5 grind doing what is necessary to feed the mouths and keep the roof on, but aspiring to a vocation which is more fulfilling?! Am I less of a candidate for a job because I have taken till 38 to discover what I want to do “when I grow up!”
How many of us, at 40 or 50 are still in the same field that we entered at 16, 18 or post university? I would suggest that the life experience and cross-industry insight that an applicant of my age has gained is of equal worth of a degree, if not more.
The ability to mingle with diverse people, to relate as a consumer as well as a provider, to think on behalf of the business as regards cost and reputation and to lead as well as to follow are invaluable skills I have gained in my 17 years of working in the professional realm.
You may think, well why don’t you tell them then? Well I have replied to them, to be honest I don’t expect to change their mind but I can’t afford to be choosy about the jobs I take, unlike some new graduates and that loyalty and focus means I have much to bring to the table.
It is now up to the HR Manager in question to take a risk and offer a position to what would be a truly grateful candidate…