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This is my online world. Mayja is my online identity. I hope you enjoy my ramblings, things I share, and my hobbies.

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Too Intelligent for the Job

Posted by Mayja | Posted in ,

"You're an intellectual."

I never thought that being an intellectual could cost me a job opportunity.

I interviewed for a marketing position in April for a rental property company that wanted to build an Internet presence. I found out in early May that they had chosen someone else for the job; someone they felt was a better fit. As it turned out, that person lasted two weeks before he quit stating that the position was too stressful.

Now that statement alone rattled me a bit. When I considered the job, it did not sound too stressful and in fact it sounded like fun! The recruiter had called me back for reconsideration and to review some of the changes they made to the job description after this other person left.

During this second interview, it was as an enjoyable a conversation as it was the first time around. Yet, I could tell that the recruiter was struggling with something. She still wasn't convinced that I would be the best person for the job. Her concern was that my customers (current and potential renters) were not as high a caliber as I was. "You have a college degree, and these are mostly blue collar workers," she explained.

I can see the possible reasons why this could be a problem: you'll get bored with the position easily, your intelligence will not be rewarded properly by the low salary or, most importantly, the challenges of reaching and communicating with your audience.

As a marketer, it is my job to know how to address, capture and retain ANY audience. If I am such an intellectual, wouldn't it make sense that I would have the know-how to find the niche, the slogans, the terminology and visuals to engage these customers? Not only am I smart, but I'm eager to put my intelligence to the test!

What is so ironic about this is that I was nervous that I might not be able to bring enough experience to the position since I have never worked with marketing rental properties. I knew that I had to build up my own confidence and remember that with my level of intelligence I should be able to handle the challenges of marketing to this audience. And I was so convincing to my potential employer that she felt that I was too much of an intellectual for the job.

Frankly, I am dumbstruck by this scenario.

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