Should you apply to jobs beneath you?

You have a wealth of knowledge and value to offer the world, but you’re frustrated that there aren’t any roles that fit you.

It feels like all the jobs are too junior, so you’re quick to scroll past them when they pop up.

Yes, applying to a role that’s a step lower than you may seem like a waste of time, but perhaps not.

Sometimes there’s a way to turn junior opportunities into a role that meets your needs - you just have to do a little digging.

Not all ‘Managers’ are created equal ❌

Titles can be challenging because each company defines a role differently, based on their needs.

The title ‘Manager’ to some companies may mean leading a team of people.

To others it may mean being in charge of a set of tasks or projects.

As you evaluate roles to apply to, be sure to comb through the description thoroughly to see where you are a fit.

Companies are looking to solve a problem 🤔

Sometimes a company thinks they need X, when they really need Y.

With your years of expertise, you will be able to easily identify a company’s true pain points and offer up the best solution for them.

If they are just looking for a Coordinator, for example, maybe you could take the opportunity to explain the value of investing in a more seasoned professional.

The worst they’ll say is ‘no.’

Budgets are often flexible for the right solution 💰

“They’re looking for a Coordinator, so they must not be able to afford someone more senior.”


If you are as valuable as you say you are, a company will at least entertain the idea of hiring someone with your expertise.

Some companies even create new roles to hire the right candidate.

It’s always worth having the conversation.

If you are a huge fan of the company, go for it 🎉

So you’ve created custom alerts for your favourite company, but they keep hiring for roles beneath you.

At this rate, you could be waiting a while for the exact opportunity to present itself.

So, why wait?

If there’s a role that you can do, but it’s a touch lower than you’d hoped, it may still be worth entertaining, to get your foot in the door.

I’ve interviewed for companies who felt I was too senior for a particular role, but by nurturing those relationships, I’ve been able to dovetail them into better opportunities later on.

Any networking opportunity with your dream company is a good one.

Every role is a stepping stone 👠

Sometimes a role really is beneath us. The pay isn’t great and the responsibilities don’t excite or challenge us.

It can feel like a bruise to the ego to accept something lesser-than, but you have to ask yourself if it’ll be better than nothing.

Don’t get too hung up on whether this is the best role for you.

It just needs to be the best role right now.

There’s nothing stopping you from continuing your job hunt and - sorry employers - but you should always be networking, keeping your skills sharp, your profile updated and exploring new opportunities, regardless of your employment status.

Certainly don’t apply to every job that’s outside of your pay-grade, but don’t be too quick to dismiss a job opportunity either.

Determine what value a role could be to you and remember that a step back can still be a step forward, if you’re in the right mindset.

Richard Gawlas