Career Search Frustration Part 3: Can Your Professional Experience Work Against You?

In this final part of our 3-part series on career search frustration, we tackle the double standards and traps surrounding the word "experience.

Jobs with "No Experience Required"

When you first enter the workforce, the number of jobs available can be daunting. There's seemingly and endless array of jobs that are entry level or state that no experience is required. No one dreams of these positions. They're merely stepping stones – a rite of passage, if you will. It's the first of what we assume will be many steps up the corporate ladder. Not much time later after that first position, we count the days until we have gained enough experience for the next position.

As more and more experience is gained, the opportunities for advancement present themselves. More experience. More opportunities. More responsibilities. More money! The corporate climb to this point has been a positive… dare we say… "experience".

When Work Experience Turns Negative

But seemingly out of nowhere, something changes. All the experience we have worked so hard to gain is now a negative. How does this happen. How is it even possible? The sad reality of today's corporate culture is that there are so many ways in which all experiences can turn negative.

Why Are People with Experience Looking for Jobs?

First, the reason many people are in a career search and transition is, in fact, because of all their experience. When corporations need to make cuts to stop the bottom line from bleeding, where do they start? Typically, they end up cutting entry level positions that make the least amount of money. Sure, this happens but for those it is so much easier to find a replacement job somewhere else. For the middle to upper level executives, it is their experience, and more accurately their salary, that is the first to go.

Recently we worked with a client who was one of 3 VPs to be cut from his office. In the end, 5 VPs were able to keep their jobs. However, part of their good fortune of retaining their jobs was the fact they had to absorb the work load of the three who were just let go. An argument could be made for which set of individuals had the better end of the deal.

Hiring Someone with More Experience Could Be Expensive

Once an executive is on the hunt, the dreaded "experience" word oftentimes works against them yet again. While searching for a new candidate, a company may view decades of experience in a negative light. Some questions that might arise include:

  • Is this candidate too old?
  • Will he cost too much for health care?
  • Will this candidate have salary demands that are too high?
  • Will he be happy at this level job or will he want to continue climbing the ladder?
  • Will he try to take the position of the person making the final decision on who to hire?

You Can't Change Industries

Want to move to a different industry? Good luck on getting your experience to transfer with you. Fifteen years as Director of Sales in health care and you want to apply for Director of Sales in manufacturing that requires only 10 years of director level experience? Sorry. You just don’t have the right experience. Again, the experience works against us rather than for us.

How Franchising is Different

FranCoach works with clients every day who have experienced the pain of too much experience.  The good news is, the franchisors we work with focus on just this…experience.  It does not matter what one's experience is in, how much they have, or in what industry it is in.  All that matters, is our clients have a desire to take control of their career and life through business ownership.  The FranCoach process is designed to determine what the best franchise would be for everyone’s unique experience.

In short, if you are frustrated over how your experience is viewed in the corporate world, then let the experienced professionals at FranCoach help.  Reach out today to schedule an introductory call to learn more.




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