Staying Relevant VS. Being Overqualified : The Difference

I always talk about how important it is to stay relevant in your job. But for professionals, being overqualified in a competitive job market is a real problem. So let’s clarify the difference between job relevance and overqualification.

To illustrate the difference between relevance and overqualification, let me give you an example.

Imagine that you decided to become a digital marketer when Facebook was founded. You got really good at hacking Facebook ads, and everyone came to you for that skill, and you were hired by a company to do their Facebook ads. Then as Facebook got bigger, you continued to focus on how to use Facebook to help the company make money. But then Instagram came along, and suddenly you couldn’t make the money you had been making with Facebook. Marketing campaigns don’t work anymore. The market is oversaturated. So what does your company do? They fire you because they don’t want to spend as much money on Facebook anymore, and they hire someone who knows what they’re doing on Instagram.

That’s where you got overqualified and didn’t stay relevant.

Now the person who’s hired to advertise on Instagram is starting to learn everything they need to know about Instagram. Instagram gets very, very big, and suddenly they can’t keep up with their competitors on that platform. So the company fires the person because now they’ve hired someone to spend money on TikTok ads.

That’s what happens when you don’t stay relevant in your career by developing skills. You become overqualified for skills that are irrelevant and no longer in demand.

To stay relevant, you have to know when to diversify your expertise, when to take a little swing in a different direction to stay relevant in the marketplace. It’s about having the tools and the experience you need to be on the cutting edge. If you don’t constantly work to stay relevant in your career, you run the risk of being overqualified for a particular skill set, and if you can’t offer companies more, they won’t want to pay you the salary you think you deserve.

Bottom line

Too many people feel good about a job, especially if their company keeps giving them money to do their job well. Your company gives you money to stay there as long as it needs you. But one day you will wake up and your skills will no longer be relevant.

Every job is temporary. You are a commodity. The market is saturated with people like you, and you don’t want to be seen as overpaid for what you provide. This happens every day in the business world. So you can’t continue to focus on one area and make more and more money without thinking it will stay that way. You have to stay relevant. Otherwise, you will wake up one day and be overqualified.

If you need help staying relevant in your career and effectively marketing your skills to employers, you’ve come to the right place.

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