I got a call from a temp agency. They liked my resumé and sent it on to a publishing house that is looking for proofreaders and editors. The publisher called the temp agency and said they maybe want to possibly interview me for this contract gig where I would have to write some stuff, edit some stuff, and create/update a website or two. I can do all those things like nobody’s business. Only problem is that the employer fears I am overqualified for the job.

Good grief. I can’t get a job that I am qualified for, and I am overqualified for everything else? This is very frustrating. I told my contact at the temp agency that I really do want this opportunity and it would be great experience for me. And I totally meant it when I said that. The temp agency person said, “okay let me talk to them and get back to you.”

That was Wednesday. Still haven’t heard back.

So now I am ruminating on this word overqualified. What does it mean? I was going to write about it here, but then I saw that Unemployed PhD for Hire said everything I would have said already – and better. Ze explains that being overqualified is about the employer’s anxieties. “All those people who think along the lines ‘Oh, if you’re an academic you must be so smart’ don’t always see you as another candidate happy to turn up on time, be agreeable to work colleagues, take initiative, work hard and do what you’re told by your boss.” Exactly.

But I am totally one of those people who will do what I’m told and do it well and shut up about everything. How can I convince them? Maybe I should have taken the PhD off of my rez?

Anyway, PhD for Hire’s post is very good for many other reasons too. I like what ze has to about how the job market situation is not about individuals who need to get retrained, or any of that bullshit. This is about global recession. Yep. Read the post here.

In the meantime, I will have to figure out how to deal with this new phase in my post-academic life: being overqualified for making a living.


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4 Responses to Overqualified

  1. Hey, I’ve been trying to post comments for a while on your blog, but keep running into technical difficulties. I don’t know why…

    My commiserations on the ‘overqualified’ comment…

  2. Yay! It worked! Also, I forgot to mention – thanks for the shout out.

  3. Anthea says:

    Yep, been there and am there. I totally understand how you feel. It’s really frustrating. 😦

  4. Derek Weiler says:

    I had a similar experience and was cautioned by my contact about leaving the PhD off my resume. He said that prospective employers always check the backgrounds of their candidates, and leaving the degree off may be considered fraud.

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