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by Natasha Nurse via Fairygodboss | October 01, 2018



Do you ever wake up feeling unhappy with your job and like your career isn’t all it was cracked up to be? If so, it's possible you feel so tortured because you're too qualified for your current position. Here are five sure signs you're overqualified for your job.

1. You're bored.

Being overqualified in your position translates to you not being able to focus on your work, simply because it doesn't require you to work hard or put your mind and heart into it. This is a major problem because this way of working just isn’t sustainable. Soon, you'll burn out, start doing other things at work, or get caught up in your own head. Feeling satisfied with what you do isn’t too much to ask from your work. If you're feeling completely bored or unsatisfied, it's time to shake things up.

2. You could be your boss.

If your boss knows less than you do, can you really respect or tolerate the hierarchy in place? Probably not. Your boss is the captain of the ship, providing instructions for what needs to get done on “deck." This person should also be able to mentor you. They guide your professional future. Working without a mentor can make you feel stifled and lost in your own career. If this is happening to you, stop the madness. If you need to be the boss, but you currently don’t hold that title, feel free to make boss moves elsewhere.

3. You need more work to do.

If you can’t finish your workday without having to ask for more work to do or wasting hours away on your Facebook timeline, you have a clear problem staring you in the face. The typical work problem is not having enough time to get through your daily workload, not having too little to do. You're either too good at what you're doing, or your workload is inferior to what you are capable of handling. Either way, a change is a must for your ultimate peace of mind.

4. You can see a bigger picture that others can’t.

Have you ever been accused of being too creative or being too “out-of-the-box?” Guess what? You don’t have a problem. It's those around you who are lacking vision and creativity. When you see a bigger picture for your company and you're told that is out of the realm of possibility, you have to wonder if you're really in the right place for your career. Forward-thinking should be celebrated, not silenced.

5. You haven’t felt challenged in way too long.

If you could practically complete your work with your eyes closed, you should question what's going on in your professional life. Your job shouldn’t be the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest (unless that's what you do). But, you should feel some type of pressure to figure out new problems, address new situations, and, at the bare minimum, use a brain cell or two.

If you've gone through this checklist and arrived at the conclusion that you're overqualified, don't freak out. Knowledge is power. Now you can act. There are plenty of options for you to consider to move forward, including: talking with your boss about a new position or developing a new position for you to remain in the company; looking for opportunities outside of your job for a fresh new start; pursuing opportunities where you can work for yourself or as a consultant; and getting into a new career that is different from your existing industry.

If these options don’t apply to you, there are plenty of other options that you can consider to improve your current predicament. The point is that you do something. Don’t waste away in a job you no longer care about or in a position that's taking your skill set for granted. Do something and move forward.

A version of this post previously appeared on Fairygodboss, the largest career community that helps women get the inside scoop on pay, corporate culture, benefits, and work flexibility. Founded in 2015, Fairygodboss offers company ratings, job listings, discussion boards, and career advice.