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Underqualified for new job?

kever

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So I've been interviewing for jobs lately, and I seem to have narrowed it down to 2 possible places. One has made an offer, and I'm waiting for an offer on the other. My first choice would allow me to use my degree, and learn a lot. There would be tight deadlines, and I would have a TON of responsibilities. I also feel like I'm a bit under qualified as I haven't got any experience in the feild, and it's been about 2 years since I graduated University (My classes aren't so fresh). The second job would be much less deadline based, but I would acquire less skills, and it would move me away from the direction I want to go in. The pay would also be higher than the first job (pretty significantly).


So my question that I am trying to pose is this: Does everyone feel under qualified when starting out in their career? Obviously the first job would be the better choice, but it feels right now like its over my head and I'm not sure I expected to interview so well. Thoughts? Opinions? experiences you want to share?
 

keikun13

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I'm still in college right now, but I often find myself thinking about what I were to do if faced with a similar situation. What the hell am I supposed to do in the "real world"? I think that almost everyone has some anxiety when going into something new. People fear change, but that doesn't mean that they don't like it. I think you should pursue what you feel is right. Go with your gut feeling and just take a chance. Easier said than done, but hey, the worst thing to have is regrets. Well, that's how I see it anyways.
 

FLMountainMan

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It's much better (especially if you're young) to start out underqualified and learn it on the job than be overqualified and wind up bored and unmotivated. No question. Now given that the overqualified job pays more.....that's your personal choice.

My first "real" job was as an external auditor. I had last taken an accounting course my sophomore year at a community college and earned a C, IIRC. Anyway, I got the job, purchased an auditing textbook, read the whole thing in a week and it all worked out great, doubled my salary in five years.

Most jobs require a lot of on-the-job training anyway. You should be fine.
 

Davidko19

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i think everyone is underqualified to some degreee. As previous poster said, only you can decide what you want. I took the first offer I got cause I needed the cash. Feel fortunate you are in a position to decide and have options. Ive been unemployed for 6 weeks now and see no end in sight...
 

AintDatRite

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Definitely take the position for which you feel you are 'underqualified'. You will find it more of a challenge and will not get bored as easily/soon. I have, on numerous occasions, hired individuals that were not completely qualified for the position. Why? Because they offered the greatest potential... I can teach someone how to do a job; there are other qualities that are important that I cannot teach - the person just must have them.
 

BDC2823

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I wouldn't worry about being underqualified. I got hired at my current place of employment since my friends dad is the owner. Not until Day 1 did I know the field I was going to be working in existed. Day 1 I learned this computer program called Autocad existed, which is what I would primarily be using. Six months later I got promoted to writing actually reports for projects. Basically, within six months I went from learning the field I would be working in even existed to writing reports for projects that are reviewed, accepted, and implemented by governmental agencies. If that doesn't portray underqualified I dont know what does. As long as you are a quick learner and take pride and an interest in learning the position, the qualifications you currently possess aren't as important. I've seen others highly qualified that when push came to shove, couldn't perform the job while those of us who were underqualified quickly surpassed them.
 

Journeyman

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As long as the job doesn't involve surgery, you should be fine!

In all seriousness, though, I echo what previous posters have said.
Almost everyone will feel "underqualified" when they first start a new job.
I know that I felt as though I was drowning for about the first two months of the job that I am doing now, and I was working twelve-hour days just to get an understanding of what I was doing.
However, once I found my feet (through doing the job, doing self-study and having some in-house training) I had no problems at all.
I think that, although it will be a challenge, you will probably find more job satisfaction and more mental stimulation in the job for which you do not feel qualified.
 

AintDatRite

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Most important qualification for any job is attitude. Aptitude is second. They offered you the position so they must believe you can do it. Getting the job was the first step, now you must KEEP it. Put in the hours and the effort to learn what you need to learn to be successful in your job... Good luck!
 

yerfdog

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I'm basically underqualified for the contract job I'm doing now (field I have no background in) but it makes it really interesting, every assignment I have I learn something new. It helps that my boss is still learning about this field too (expanding into a new area of business). I think this type of situation is kind of fun, unless it is obvious you are going to be in way over your head.

As long as you see potential to move up in the position you are underqualified for, and you don't have an immediate need to be making as much money as possible (huge student loans or something), I would go for it. Also take into consideration stability of the position and your tolerance for instability, I think that's a pretty big concern with the economy like it is.
 

kever

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Thanks for all of the replies so far.

I still don't know if they are both real options, thought it soundes promising, I am waiting until Monday for an offer for the first company. The first job (which I will take if an offer is made) is in Marketing, and I have no experience other than school. I think this puts me ahead a bit because marketing is a much less tangible skill than Accounting or something like that. It's also a newly formed position. They have not had anyone other than the owners and a sales guy doing their marketing as the company is small but growing quickly. I do have student loans, but I can live on the amount they are willing to pay me, and I think that the skills and experience would be worth living frugally for a few months. I guess I was just worried about being the only guy doing marketing for the company with no experience implementing a marketing plan in the past. I know the theory well, but actually coming up with a campaign, meeting with media outlets, budgeting, etc. is something I have no experience doing. I've been studying all weekend in case the offer comes through, and I really hope I don't have to take the second option in sales. Yes, it's nice to have options, but this is my third month of job searching, so it's been a LOT of work to get these few options

Again, thanks for the insight so far. Keep the stories coming if you have any...
 

AintDatRite

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If you take the marketing position and have nobody that you can turn to as a 'mentor', join local trade associations and meet people in the industry. That way, you can run ideas past them and seek their guidance - just ensure its someone you can trust so that they dont stab you in the back and try to get the account. Plenty of information is available via the internet, as well. Also, if you had to change jobs for any reason, most jobs are gained by networking.... through people you know. Participating in a trade association/organization will ensure that you meet people in the industry and, if you need a job, you can call them.
 

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