Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sort of a Management Question

Oh loyal readers of TC.. let me pose a conundrum to you:

Say you've met a lovely person with a very solid resume that supports an ongoing successful career in.. cheesemaking. This person is clearly a great candidate for a cheesemaking job. And, cheese is hot, so there are cheesemaking jobs around, even in this down economy. 

But the person tells you... "You're in Soap Marketing. I always wanted to do Soap Marketing. Can you help me?" 

Now, Soap marketing requires some knowledge of soap (smells, textures, liquid, solid.. foam!) as well as some knowledge of marketing (PR, advertising, copy editing, creative.. ). None of these skills are directly transferable from cheesemaking. Also challenging is the fact that the soap business is not nearly as hot these days, so the market is chock full of excellent soap marketers, dying for a job. 

What do you tell this person?

A few options I've considered:

a) ignoring the person and deflecting the problem (this is an option)
b) illuminating them to the fact that soap marketing is a broad field, and at a minimum, they should know whether they want dishwasher detergent or pet shampoo, and within that, whether they want to design the bottle or write the press release. (this seems painful... )

How would you... get out of this while maintaining some degree of "being nice," particularly since the person is persistent?


hornett said...

What about option C - give them a verbal choke slam into a table of truth.

Kate said...

Ask them why?

Rachel Ann said...

Oh man, I would say I am so over this sort of thing, but, um, seeing as it is my job, that can't be. All I can do is over no real advice, but commiserate with you because 1) it is beyond ridiculous and 2) persistence is, more often than not, scary and definitely not endearing.