WorkWise Q&A: I have the education, but why not the job?

culp@workwise.netDecember 23, 2012 


Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I have applied to many jobs and often don’t get responses. When I’m able to get a response from an insider, I’m told that I don’t meet ALL of the qualifications for the position. These are dream jobs I’ve wanted for almost 20 years!

When I was in my 20s, I was told to get a Masters degree and I could get the position. Well, I have two Masters and still feel like that’s not enough. Have times changed that much? My experience and education have improved, but financially I’m back where I was 20 years ago. Should I now pursue a PhD?

Call me Overwhelmed, Depressed, Tired and Trapped

A: Dear Overwhelmed, Education at any level guarantees no job. The all-qualifications explanation is a put-off.

It’s time for a New Year’s overhaul to garner fresh contacts and fresh channels into your next position. Throw yourself into situations where you’ll meet the kind of people you’d like to work around.

Are you active in local chapters of professional associations? Join and make yourself visible by becoming membership chair or working with the person who recruits speakers. If you’re interested in positions outside your area, attend conferences and participate.



Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I am 46 and recently lost my job because of downsizing. I’ve always been considered a top performer. I worked for this company over 13 years.

The last year they tried hard to get us to leave. We now know it was so they wouldn’t be responsible for severance packages. We all stuck it out, although they were very verbally abusive. I had to sign a agreement not to take legal action or I’d forfeit my package.

I’d love to work at home. My last job paid about $75,000. Do you know any stay-at-home jobs that aren’t scams or can you advise on how to find a real stay-at-home job? Please help.


A: Dear Homeward-bound, Your resume reflects lots of skills that would overqualify you for most existing home-based businesses. Convert those skills into home-based consulting. You’d be excellent at helping virtual employees who need to be guided to meet objectives. Since you enjoy public speaking, charge for it and do more of it to create visibility.

If this strategy seems risky, get a traditional job and negotiate a telecommuting schedule, but wait until you’ve accepted an offer.


Modesto Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service