Am I underselling myself? Ask the expert

I’m a qualified Injection Moulding Engineer with 14 years’ experience. I was made redundant after the company folded while I was on maternity leave. I can’t find part-time work in my field and have applied for any type of part-time work but I am either not qualified enough or over-qualified. What should I do?

Before you begin to apply for a job it is important to do some self-analysis and here are my tips for this:

Take a blank sheet of paper and ask yourself the following questions;

1. Are you applying for the right job in the first place.  It seems that with extensive experience such as you have, it would be very unusual to think that you do not have enough experience.

2. If you think you are overqualified then I would suggest that you are applying for a job which is below your ability and you will not be challenged in this role.

Think about the following important issues:

1. Have you ensured that all childcare issues are covered i.e. cover in the holiday period, or when your child is sick etc?

2. Why do you want to return to work – what is motivating you i.e. money, status, self-convidence etc?

3. How are applying for jobs e.g. newspapers, internet, etc?

4. Have you targeted your job search strategy i.e. applying for jobs that you know will ‘make you tick’?

It is also important to do some self-analysis such as:

List all your skills and include skills accumulated during maternity leave.  Are there skills you need to accumulate before you return to a job you have identified you would like to work in?  Do you think you may need to take another course or would you consider another career path? Is there anyone you know working in a job you would like – talk to them and tell them you are interested in how they got their job.

Don’t be afraid to speak to your networks and use them to investigate any career opportunities out there.  Even in these touch economic times, there are still jobs out there – it’s just a matter of finding what you have a passion for and going for it!  Wishing to work part time should not be a barrier.

Career coaching would help to guide you through the questions surrounding the above issues and other areas surrounding successful job search strategies.  It will enable you to get clarity and focus on your motivators, which will help you target your energies towards a career which will fit into your lifestyle and career needs.  Contact Alice Jones at [email protected] for other ways we can help.

Hope this helps and good luck in your future.

Comments [1]

  • Anonymous says:

    Ha! I know what you mean, I am an Architect with 10 years experience, and since there are no jobs in Architecture at the moment, I started looking at other areas. Unfortunately, you need a specific degree to wipe your butt these days, so I am not qualified or experienced enough to do any other jobs! Even though I think the skills I have will transfer well, there is a lack of willingness for recruiters to think outside the square…

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