Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Leading Indicators of a Craptacular Marketing Job

When you're a marketing goomer that gets wrapped up in projects that involve the finance and accounting side of the business, you often find yourself rubbing shoulders with the people that Dilbert called "the trolls in accounting." And you're probably also likely to find that they have an almost religious hatred of your role and all it represents (spending money). That being said, over the years I've worked with a lot of people in finance and accounting and got along well with most of them. Often I find that we share a sense of practicality and an overall disdain for puffery that tends to mask a lack of real substance.

One of the funniest places to find this kind of puffery is in job listings. As an example, I recently came across a listing describing a necessary skill as being able to leverage adoption techniques and four key performance indicators of a successful Customer Value Journey (I probably can't use that phrase -- it might be trademarked). And while there is probably a line of candidates forming with platitudes on their lips and gold in their hearts, you won't find me digging into the resources of my background looking for Carlos Castaneda books or channeling my business-metaphysics background.

Sometimes this stuff just seems crazy. I once worked for a company that based their performance reviews on values that fit an acronym of the company name. Imagine if the Constitution had been written like that. Back in the dot.com era, I interviewed with a company that basically had no idea what they did, and I couldn't even get a sense of their direction during the interview (we mutually agreed that we weren't a good fit). The saddest part of the whole thing is that, when you see stuff like this on TV it seems funny, but it's different when you know that there are so many people who are desperate for work and willing to take even the suckiest jobs.

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