Overqualified But Underpaid: Torn Between Your Love for Job and Need for Money?

April 11, 20172:21 pm633 views

Here’s the case: you love your current job, as it invokes your passion, interest, and expertise to put your best foot at work everyday, innovate, learn and excel. Not to mention, the company’s culture is favorable and the coworkers are supportive as well. However, the most undeniable fact that haunts your evenings after a tiring day at work is – inadequate compensation to meet your monetary worth as per market standards, your expertise skills and expectations.

You do feel that with all the qualifications and experiences you possess, you could earn a lot more, and sometimes even consider quitting. Have you ever been dealing with such perplexities of life? Then, you can relate to this situation. If you do nod affirmatively to the case scenario above, then perhaps simply put you feel “overqualified but underpaid.”

Fresh graduates are required to deal with this fact considering, today’s job market is increasingly tough and competitive. Every year, thousands of college and university graduates make up for the majority of talent pools.

Scarcity of jobs and rise in unemployment numbers keeps climbing up, thus compelling the needy jobseekers to lower their salary expectations and compromise on a sum that can support their living and help pay off their monthly bills on time. Jobseekers are required to make such sacrifices to be able to support their subsistence over their career goals, and earn salary much lesser than they might rightly deserve.

Rather than staying unemployed for too long and seeming outdated, most people tend to compromise with the situation and accept the available offer on hand, even when they are aware of being overqualified for the position. Being an overqualified employee for a particular job role, means you are willing to accept pay-cuts or salary below your personally set standards and expectations.

Also there are times when you might have to take a demotion, to join at the junior or entry level. For example, a supervisor who has just been laid off due to company downsizing may apply for a junior role in another company, especially when not many job opportunities are available in the market – despite being aware of the fact that they are overqualified.

From the company’s point of view, tough job market climate is considered unfavorable for business growth. And this opinion comes with a fair and reasonable ground. When an overqualified talent applies for a junior position, it means the company can hire skilled and capable talents with lower costs.

However, besides the basic salary, company should look at other incentives as well, such as benefits and perks for the employees. Thus, they can save money while attracting the best talents.

So, what should you do when you feel overqualified but underpaid in your current job?

Regardless of any given situation, there are three keywords that you should bear in mind; accept, change, or leave it. When faced with a dilemmatic career issue, you should hold on to this principle too:

See: Apprenticeships could be the Solution to Avoid Becoming Over-Qualified and Under-Experienced

Accept it

First of all, you have to think through your bargaining power in the job market. For example, what makes you believe that you are overqualified to be ‘only’ junior developer? Do you no longer feel challenged in your work? Do you feel that you can work for better job? It is critical to straighten your understanding of the definition of being ‘overqualified’.

Nowadays, a higher degree in itself is not enough to land you a job with good-pay. More than this, you should possess relevant experience and demonstrate strong practical skills to perform in the job role. Unless you prove worthy enough to your employer to fetch a senior role with the organisation displaying combination of both qualities, then maybe you have overvalued your own competencies.

Sometimes, accepting your current job and salary is the best way to stay in the business for longer periods of time. For now, you might be compensated with a standard pay. However, if you continue to hone your skills and enrich your experience, then it is just a matter of time when you will get a pay raise and promotion.

Change it

After evaluating the current situation and you can clearly see that the compensation given by the company is not equivalent to the efforts you put in the job. Then perhaps it is time you take tangible action to make a change. Start with, approaching your HR department first and let them know your contribution, and current circumstances.

However before approaching the HR, you should clearly define your intention and sketch out a proposal. For example, you can ask for an internal move within the organisation. When someone is overqualified for a particular job role, they tend to quickly get bored with monotonous mundane tasks. If you can relate to this feeling, then perhaps you should put across this point to the senior management and seek help in transitioning to new roles within the organisation – one that suits better with your qualifications.

Through this approach, while you might not necessarily get a pay raise at once you might get a fulfilling career, that does not always align with fulfilling money. There is always something beyond monetary satisfaction, and it is time you seek for it.

Leave it and move on

If you find it rather difficult to accept and change the given situation, then all you could do is to accept the situation, leave the job and choose to move on. Instead of making yourself feel helpless and torn between passion and money, you need to take a strong stance and decision.

However, before putting down your papers, you should consider everything carefully. If you have worked less than a year with your current company, you need to think on how your resignation will affect your CV.

However, if you have made up your mind, then you can start looking for better greener pastures elsewhere. All you need to do, is to be certain that the job position you are gunning for, offers better compensation along with a fulfilling career over the current one.

Read also: 5 Key Reasons to Hire Overqualified Candidates

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