Are You "Misqualified" for the NonClinical Jobs You Want?Robert Priddy

Over-qualified, under-qualified, you just don't seem to be a match for any job that interests you. So what's the problem - you're misqualified. It's not you, it's them.... they don't understand what do do with you, so it's your job to educate them as to why they really want you. 

I was speaking recently with a physician who lamented, “I seem to either be over-qualified or under-qualified for every job I want.” I pondered her statement for a few seconds before I replied, “Actually, you’re not over or under-qualified. You’re mis-qualified.” 

The fact is, outside of clinical practice most people don’t know what to do with a physician. Sure, MSL jobs, VPMA, Medical Directors, all those career paths have hired physicians for decades. But everyone one doesn’t want to work in pharma, provider organizations or insurance. It’s a big world out there, plus those fields are grossly overcrowded. Why, because they’re the first place most physicians think to look, or think they should look.  

But only a small percentage of my clients have a real passion for those industries. And, if you’re lacking in passion, it makes it even harder to get hired.  

That aside, for other jobs, you’re more than likely mis-qualified, rather than over or under qualified.  

Think of it this way. You want to work as a financial advisor/analyst for an investment company involved in biotech and other life-science investments. They advertise for an MBA with background and experience in life-sciences for investment analysis. What can the MBA tell them? The MBA can say the balance sheet looks good, the investor returns are in line, the exit strategy is logical…. Can the MBA tell them a physician would ever order this “product?” The answer is no. Are you qualified to obtain and understand that answer? Yes. But, are you over-qualified, under-qualified? No, simply mis-qualified.  

Here’s another example, more and more physicians are interested in corporate health and wellness programs. However, the online advertisement is looking for someone with three to five years of experience in a corporate health setting, perhaps for a dietitian, or for an exercise physiologist. Could you evaluate the health status and needs of a corporate population? Could you offer dietary advice at a global level? Could you assess fitness parameters for an organization? Sure, but you don’t match any of the qualifications. Are you over-qualified, are you under-qualified… no, just mis-qualified

I could go on and on with example after example, and I’m sure you have a few of your own. You read job descriptions and say to yourself, I’d like to do that, and you’re certain you could do the job, but you don’t match the basic criteria. And, you’ll never get a returned call if you don’t if you can’t check all the boxes for “job requirement.” 

What do you do. I’ve had hundreds of physicians ask the same question, how can I get the experience they want if they won’t hire me, but they won’t hire me without that specific experience. It’s not a matter of being able to do the job, but rather an issues of being mis-qualified.  

The problem is “them,” not you. Their problem is they don’t know what to do with your experience. Your problem – no, your challenge, is to educate them.  

How do you go about that task? First, you don’t apply for jobs. It’s a frustrating waste of time – that is, unless you can make yourself a 100 percent match. What you do is draft an effective networking campaign to speak with people “in the industry.” Then, the term I use is a Managed Vertical Networking Strategy, escalate further into the company, organization or knowledge pathway you’re following. When you’re able to speak with industry people about your accomplishments and your problem solving ability, the check boxes of degrees, years of experience and current title become meaningless.

What do you think... I am very interested in your opinions and comments.

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