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Post by attaboy » 13 Sep 2018, 01:43

Hello everyone,
I am 42 with 20 years of experience in my field. A few times in the past I have been turned down in the private sector as being "overqualified". Might have been their way of saying "you're too old" though.
Could this kind of thing happen in the UN system if, say, I applied for a position that requires way less experience (like a P-3 that requires only 5 years)? Please, comment. Thank you.

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Re: Overqualified?

Post by Anja » 16 Sep 2018, 13:18

I don’t think that age is a huge issue in the UN. However if you are currently the CEO of a furtune 500 company and apply for a G6, I think your application will not be successful: the UN wants to know what drives you and why you would accept such a drop in your career...

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Re: Overqualified?

Post by UN linguist » 29 Sep 2018, 19:45

I think that there is widespread misunderstanding of the link between the number of years of work experience that someone has and the level of the post that they occupy. There is very little connection between the two.

The UN system is not one in which having three years of work experience will automatically get you a P3 post, five years will get you a P4 post, seven years will get you a P5 post and so on. It simply doesn’t work like that, despite the fact that many posts I have read on this forum today seem to assume that it does. In my area of work, there are just seven P5 posts in the entire UN system, so it doesn’t make any difference how many of us have 10, 15, 20, 25 years or more experience, only seven of us at any one time will ever have a P5 post.

Many people have joined through the language competitive examinations or through the old national competitive examinations and have stayed at P2 or P3 for years, sometimes for their entire career. When looking at careers in the UN, you need to forget everything else you have experienced!

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