EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Let’s be honest, even though the unemployment figures suggest a strong job market, things are still challenging for members of our “well experienced” membership. This always being the case, many of our members consider opportunities that are well below their previous levels of responsibility and compensation.

I would welcome the thoughts of others on this topic, so please do send in your ideas. Anything you would like published should be sent to Leads@TheFENG.org. Be sure to be clear if you want your name used.

There are many issues that go along with what is happening. However, I would ask that we not delve into the issues of age discrimination. It has always been there and will always be there.

I can tell you from my own discussions with our members that even those who lamented the inability of others to even CONSIDER them because they were “overqualified,” as soon as they get on the other side of the desk, that sting is soon forgotten and when they have jobs reporting to them to fill, THEY won’t consider those who are overqualified. It is unfortunately human nature to have a mental picture of what folks should look like for jobs that need to be filled.

Let’s consider for a moment some of the issues you need to understand that you face. The first is that if you are overqualified you will leave as soon as an appropriate offer comes along. Sure it is possible, but this is “the elephant sitting in the room” that you need to address when you are competing for a job “inappropriate” to your experience. Dumbing down your resume isn’t an answer because you will be discovered during the interview and effectively caught in a lie. Not a good thing for a financial officer.

If you are hired, you need to know that there will be some discomfort on both sides, perhaps the whole time you are there. By offering you less money than you should be earning, you may feel and THEY may feel that you have been taken advantage of. Okay, it’s true. Just understand that you will need to deal with it and put others at ease and yourself at ease.

Looking ahead to your next job change, you should also consider where you are in your career and how taking a big pay cut will affect your future. There are times when taking a step back can be made to appear logical and other times when it is not the case. Only you can decide. Just understand that you will have to discuss it. Make sure you have explanations that are brief, but that still explain your reasoning for compromising.

I would argue and have many times that it is ALWAYS better to be working, whatever sacrifices you have to make to your presumed personal prestige. Often times others don’t really know how big a step back you have taken and you really aren’t obligated to tell them. In addition, if you are working, you just may be learning new things that will create market value for you later.

Most important is if you have some income, your “burn rate” will slow. This can have important positive psychological effects on you and your sense of pride.

Well, this should get everyone started. What are your thoughts? What are the issues we face in these situations and how do we “explain ourselves” to others and to ourselves.

I welcome your thoughts on this topic. Again, send them to Leads@TheFENG.org.

Regards, Matt

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