Overqualified & Undervalued

With over 40 years of experience in the business world here and overseas, I am realising that all the hands-on experience and copious projects worked on, individuals worked with, business strategies developed and implemented make me overqualified and undervalued.

I wonder how many other experienced individuals are going through the same scenario and unfortunately, I know of a few.

I celebrate others successes, no matter what age and have mentored over 50 interns in the last 5 years, all have gone on to employment and clear career choices.  This is part of why I do what I do.

I have helped professional athletes and entertainers learn how to run businesses, created partnerships with small business operators and much more.  This is the most rewarding part of what I do, helping others through my own knowledge and skills – this is what I want to continue to do.  

(Here comes the rant-sorry)

My skill sets work in many areas of a business from law to marketing to technology.  I’m not afraid of getting my hands dirty, haven’t had a sick day in over 8 years, nor taken a long holiday in the same time.

Very technology aware having been the second mainframe operator working for Gadens (then Gadens Bowen) and trained by IBM and Nashua in Australia at the young age of 19. Au fait with most technology, working on pc and mac platforms, numerous CRM systems, know social media, build and designed websites and understand the digital world well.

I am and have been a paralegal, business manager, marketing consultant, product developer, music business manager, international financier, author, mentor, stress management consultant and counsellor working with charities, NFP, corporates, entertainers, sports personalities and entrepreneurs.

I have changed and morphed myself as needed in my career at the request of others because they trusted my skills in delivering their project, idea, business or product.  If someone asked if I could work on a project, I simply did my research and due diligence to support what I needed to get the job done.  I never said yes unless I knew I was capable.

My formal qualifications came later after my actual work experience and practices.

 

Yet it seems that although I am highly skilled, multi-talented, loyal, solution focused and trustworthy I am undervalued by HR departments and recruiters.

We speak about millennials all day long, how to get them in the workforce, how to create “start-ups” and technology hubs, seeking to assure there is youth employment opportunities. With less than 4% success rate for start-ups, maybe we need to rethink these structures and assure there is experience and knowledge embedded in their strategic plans.

On the other side of the coin is the discussion to raise the pension age to 70.  If it’s a sensible measure, doesn’t that also mean we need to leave open the opportunities for the older generation to work longer?  This is the first time we have five generations in the work force.

 

Seniorpreneurs, business owners aged 55 to 64, lead about 34% of Australian firms, according to new research from the Swinburne University of Technology and Queensland University of Technology. The entrepreneurship activity rate of 8% for this age group is about 3% above the average of innovation-driven economies, which makes them the fastest-growing pack of our entrepreneurial talent.

I am tired of hearing about how “overqualified” I am and I know I am not the only one.  What we provide in an hourly rate, is well worth considering…intuition, resourcefulness, strategic thinking, pragmatic problem solving, performing and operating within complex, sensitive and high-volume environments, experience in working with complex stakeholders, sound researchers and so much more.

A crucial skill a mature worker brings is social intelligence, especially in this day of technology, they have the capability to work with others due to their aptitude to read and understand the needs of stakeholders, in and out of the workplace.

If you have a young person in your HR department, how much knowledge do they have or are provided about mature workers and the long-term benefits.  Yes, an organisation may have to pay a little more than a millennial or person immediately out of University, but what they receive and provide is years of knowledge and expertise.

When you hire a mature individual, you bring in a mentor for the succession plan of your business, a true team worker, problem solver and someone who find challenges second nature and quick to respond.

Please don’t underestimate the over 50’s generation, even the over 60’s, as we have so much to bring to an organisation.

Thank you for taking the time to read this…