They are out of my league. Or am I out of theirs?

Photo by Artur Aldyrkhanov on Unsplash

They’re definitely out of my league. I mean employers.

My 20s

It felt like this 20 years ago when I was a graduate — naïve, openhearted, full of hopes. They are gods. I’m nothing.

My first job was in sales. The company was small; all the teammates were neither friendly nor too supportive; sometimes I experienced a kind of soft bulling — not that much to feel drastically confused yet not motivational. I was coping with all the pleasant issues of being a rookie, working hard and dreaming about a better life — i.e. having the status of a professional.

Today, if I were sending a letter to myself at the age of twenty, I’d write, “Oh, dear, don’t be such a child, please’.

At an early stage of a career, it’s tempting to think that experience is a key. Becoming more mature, you understand that what matters most is resilience. You do your best to boost your soft skills — to figure out one perfect day that your hair colour is wrong or your perfume is too strong because your boss thinks so, and it prevents you from shining.

My 30s

Searching for a job is challenging. Is it? No. It’s frustrating for most people I know.

I was pretty lucky in my 30s: each of my job search was successful. I was the perfect career adviser for myself so I obtained the job I wanted, every time. I was happy for the first couple of months in a new team, then things were going worse and worse.

The problem was my habit to dig as deep as I could. I’ve always been keen on searching how all this works, what are the reasons and sequences. I was a WHY-person and I needed some time to untangle all the issues in a project — just to be more aware and productive. My bosses were on the opposite side: they were eager to get the results as soon as possible. How their departments looked in the reports was more important than the strategic profits.

It was a déjà vu after a decade of hard work, dedication, and vigorous professional activity.

My 20s (again)

I bounced back into the newbie status within one day when I was brave enough to switch — not even a job but profession. I packed all my transferrable skills — along with some technical ones — and dragged them to the new office.

It seemed to me I had had a good start. If my boss was next to me at the moment, he would strongly disagree.

I was alone on the extremely responsible position without any guidance — and a bunch of tasks beyond my responsibility. I carried them because I was… dedicated. Not surprisingly, one day I met my Waterloo because of the lack of time, high stress level, and the strong feeling of being clumsy.

It took me a couple of months to recover and restore my self-esteem. (Footnote: I haven’t dealt with this profession anymore, however, I use the knowledge gained on that position, so I consider this piece of my life scenario as a reasonable investment).

My 40s

I sent my resume up to 10 vacancies during the last six weeks. (The number is rather considerable since new vacancies worth applying to in my field appear on job sites once a week, in average.)

Any answer.

My resume is good. I’m sure about that because I have some background in recruiting, so I can look at myself as the recruiters would do. My resume is clear and concise, it contains the bullet points, all my key strengths are underlined, the most impressive achievements are mentioned.

As a copywriter, I have a portfolio — actually, it’s a page on my site where all my works are presented appropriately and visually pleasant.

Then why don’t I get an invitation to the job interview and offer, as a result?

Congratulations! I’m overqualified.

I know much. (Including the fact that the best places on Earth, at least on that part of it that is called ‘the labour market’ — aren’t obtained by the most proficient people.) It’s not easy to manipulate me. And I’m a WHY person as much as I used to be in my 20s with the only difference: today I’m not just asking to be in the loop; sometimes I ask with implied criticism, and that doesn’t make me more comfortable in a conversation on business issues.

For 20 years I was under-something (qualified, skilled, flexible, quick on the uptake, you tell me), now I’m over-.

It seems to me I’ve skipped the very moment when I was ok.

Nowadays, employers are out of my league. Again.

On the other hand, can I assume, at least, that (maybe) I’m out of their league?

If only it made things better.




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Elena Nabatchikova

Elena Nabatchikova

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