The Perfect Hand: Can You Be Too Qualified?


Anthony Cometti is a technologist at heart. He first began tooling around with computers in the late 1980s, while he was still working in the food service industry. He felt there had to be a more efficient way to do his paperwork, so, taking cues from contemporary spreadsheet applications, he automated the company’s pen-and-paper process. His accomplishment not only gained him a little notoriety among his peers, it also whet his development appetite. A short time later, Cometti embarked on a new career path in the IT field.

During the next decade, Cometti worked his way up the management ranks, earning certifications along the way. It wasn’t until he’d reached the vice president level that he realized he’d effectively lost touch with the technical aspect of the field — the part he originally had enjoyed so much. So he put himself back on the job market to search for a more hands-on role — a position he finds himself in today. The only hitch?

“I’m being beat up a little by employers who see that management and consulting experience on my resume and [think], ‘This guy is a senior manager in an IT organization. Why does he want to do development work?’” Cometti said. “They get a little squirrely.”

There are many reasons an IT professional may want to take a career step backward: A project manager may want to get back into the technical side, a senior leader may want a new job with no direct…



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