As I have finally accepted the futility of seeking a tenure track position I have decided to quit adjunction and focus my efforts on finding other types of employment. However, these efforts have also proven to be futile. Out of the fifty applications for the non-academic positions that I sent out the past few months, I’ve only been called for three interviews. None of these interviews have resulted in a job offer.
I am overqualified for most of the jobs that I’ve applied for, so one would think that employers would jump at the chance of having me on their team. But sadly, that is not the case. Employers don’t want to hire someone who is overqualified because they would have to pay them more. They also don’t trust that overqualified individuals would work at their institutions for the long haulI–and they’re right. Additionally, employers don’t want to hire employees who are more qualified and skilled than they are, because if they are at all insecure in their own position, this would be highly threatening to them.
The economy is definitely a culprit. However, one would think that in a bad economy over-qualification is a must for competitiveness. It could also be ageism, but I’m only in my late 30’s.
There might be some of you, dear readers, who might think that I’m not interviewing well or I’m doing something wrong. I assure you that I have analyzed my interviews to death and have perfected my skills. I don’t like to brag but I’m an exceptionally socially apt person, for someone with a Ph.D., so I know that it’s not my personality getting in the way. Perhaps I need to undersell myself.
No matter what the specific reasons are for my lack of success in finding a job, I feel that they all lead back to the three letters after my name. “Ph.D.” are my scarlet letters that I am unable to shake off, that keep me at the margins of decent employment.