Overqualified and underemployed – a curse or a blessing?

Today, pursuing long studies is no longer a guarantee to land a good job, it seems as though it has become the prerequisite to get a job at all. Many young people who have received their degrees over the last few years, often find themselves in a delicate situation.

National Blog Posting Month, NanoPoblano, NaBloPoMo, 2015They come out of university thinking that all doors are open for them, only to quickly be confronted with a bleak reality. I see many people who have after a first Master’s degree continued with another, and then another in order to be even more qualified, or maybe to hide from the job market… Then there are those who go from unpaid or underpaid internship to the next, with no hope that they will be taken on board, especially when 25% or more of the staff are interns.

It is not rare for people to move back in with their parents. Boomerang kids… It is not rare either that a more or less long period of time after finishing university is spend unemployed. A post higher education depression might kick in, even if the person in question finds a job. After all this job is very often far from the ideas and expectations.  How many people work in odd jobs with salaries and activities far away from what they had imagined? Making a living through pizza delivery or babysitting probably was not on their minds…

Being rushed through school, job candidates are considered too young, too immature, and too inexperienced. Who with 22-24 has a Master’s degree and 5 years or more of professional experience that does not include internships? Sometimes within the same sentence they are told that they are both overqualified and too inexperienced.

Being rushed through school has another negative effect, what is thought to bring money and a career is studies, no one listens correctly to their heart. So once done the big question arrises: “What do I do now?” or even “In fact, what do I want to do with my professional life?” It can take moths or even years to figure out the answers.

On the other hand I have seen people land high paying jobs rather quickly, but they threw in the towel after a few months as it wasn’t the right thing for them. Sadly before studying they had never thought about if they would like the competitive corporate world. Some stay, not completely happy, but they do not ask themselves any questions.

Still not everything is bad for this generation of overqualified and underemployed. After months or years of being unhappy in their job, they shift their focus onto essential questions.

Hearts begin to beat again for the forgotten passion. In my case writing.
The discovery of a whole new professional field is made, one that wasn’t envisaged before, but one that is of their liking.

I do think that the search for our passion is important. The discovery and pursuit of it even more. After a few years of struggles, professionally and often mentally, life’s priorities start to be clearly defined.

Once the passion is rediscovered, after all with rushing through school it was suppressed, it is time to do everything to do something in relation with that passion. People who follow their passion, who invest time and money to make it possible, have their eyes light up when they talk about it. Maybe the generation of overqualified and underemployed won’t be known for its corporate careers, but maybe it will be a generation that avoids the midlife crisis, as life’s essential questions are asked far earlier on. Being young, these people still have all possibilities to live for their passion(s), even if it means earning less, but that is a small price to pay for happiness.

I have taken a habit to encourage people to think about what they REALLY want to do. To think about what their heart is beating for.

Do you know or are someone who has experienced similar situations?
Have you found your passion?
Has this problem existed for other generations?

© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.


The invisible scar – #BlogBattle

“Why can I not reach you? Why are you closing yourself off to me?” he asked.

“I am sorry, I don’t want to be this cold towards you.” she replied with a fragile voice.

“Where has all your strength gone? I see you as such a strong …” his words trailed off, as he saw the dark clouds gathering in her eyes.

He gave her a kiss on the cheek and whispered in her ear: “when you are ready, I will be there to listen”.

She lowered her head, and nodded, relieved that he didn’t press on with his questions, questions to which she knew no answers.

He knew she was the one. He had never seen a person so beautiful. Her face was perfectly shaped, almost symmetric like a porcelain doll’s. Her body was slender and tall. He knew that looks were not everything, but he knew that she was beautiful on the inside too. Always kind to everyone, helpful and charitable.

Why was she suddenly so sad? Why did his kiss at the end of the date lead to tears? All he could hope for now was that she would want to see him again. He wasn’t sure.

She ran the comb through her black hair. A silent tear slithered down her cheek. Even though she was not smiling it seemed as if her spotless reflection was smiling back at her from the mirror.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, why are we always in search of beauty?” she asked.

Instead of an answer, her phone lit up, on the screen it read, “hey beautiful! will u c me again??”

Even though she did not want to be defined by her obvious beauty, she texted back with a positive reply, “yeah, just don’t call me beautiful”. After all he had opened something up inside, he had started to edge closer to the answers she was yearning to find.

“yeah, just don’t call me beautiful” her answer read. She had replied quicker than he had thought. The questions that had been torturing him all night, started to answer themselves. It was her beauty that made her feel uncomfortable. But why so? Everyone was always searching for more beauty…

There she was, sitting in a blue dress on a park bench, her face hidden by a book.

“Do you mind if I join you?” he asked and was pleasantly greeted with a smile.

“Tell me, do you think that you will accept my love one day?”

“Don’t you think that you are a bit direct?”

“Maybe”, he took a deep breath before going on. “What is is that hurts you? What is it that keeps you from being happy?”

She looked at her feet, she knew what it was, but did not want to admit it.

“It isn’t your beauty, now, is it?” he went on, reaching out to catch a tear before it stained her cheek.

She took all of her courage into her hands, “it is linked to my beauty though. The thing is, you know, that people don’t see past my appearance, they only see what is on the outside.”

He nodded, “go on, I am all ears.”

“I have been ignored by friends because I am the one getting all the attention. I have been called a ‘fake’, I have been confronted with too much jealousy.” Gratefully she accepted his handkerchief to blow her nose.

“So why is it that I made you cry the other day? I have neither called you a fake, nor been jealous of your looks. I know that you are more than what you are on the outside. There is someone inside of you who is longing to be loved.”

“Exactly for that reason, you are the first person who has seen me for WHO I am and not for WHAT I appear to be. I feel like as if I have been wounded by too many hurtful words, by too many incisive looks, and too much jealousy. You see?”

“Let me help you find happiness. I want to heal those wounds”. He said and leaned in for a kiss.

“Your soul is marked by a scar, but I will do everything for it to vanish.”

This is my  almost too late entry into this weeks #blogbattle the word to use was scar
#BlogBattle is a weekly event hosted by Rachael Ritchey, head over to her blog and check out the other stories and vote for your favourites.

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© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.