Friday, February 22, 2013

For Those Said to be "Over-Qualified"

Often, I hear of people being given the "over-qualified" brush-off. What I do about that is seek out jobs for which most people are under-qualified. I also do not put pearls before swine. What I mean by that is I seek out employers who need, and know they need, people of high skill and long experience. One has to know one's industry and maintain good networking but that does have advantages.

This mentality draws from my concept of a job/skills pyramid. The pyramid has three sections:

1. Bottom of the pyramid. This RED section has tons of jobs, so many that one is easily fooled into thinking that employment will always be available. However, these jobs are so easy that, regardless of the number of jobs available, there are tons more people than there are jobs. Generally, such jobs involve commodity skills. It is a good place to start but no place to stop one's development.

2. Middle of the pyramid. This YELLOW section has fewer jobs but a balance between the number of jobs and the number of people who can do those jobs. Getting to this level takes more personal and professional development than that required for the bottom RED section.

3. Top of the pyramid. This GREEN section has even fewer jobs than the middle YELLOW section but there are always fewer people who can do those jobs than the number of jobs available. Regardless of the economy, companies that need such skill and experience can never find and keep enough of this kind of person. The required skills are definitely not commodity.

To rise through the job/skills pyramid, one needs a strong performance ethic, an on-going cycle of study-learn-work-produce. From this perspective, work ethic is not sufficient, since work by itself will not yield the desired results. One also has to activate the entire performance-ethic cycle.