Smarty Pants

Bob Goldman on

Are you too smart for your job?

That's the question on the table, and seeing as you are under the table, as usual, your initial response may follow along the lines of the answer provided by Fredo Corleone in "The Godfather":

"I'm smart! Not like everybody says -- like, dumb! I'm smart, and I want respect!"

Too bad Fredo never met Jessica Stillman, who is a writer for Inc. and the author of an article that could have saved the gangster from an early and violent downsizing.

"3 Signs You're Too Smart for Your Job" is the title of the piece, which purports to help you with "that nagging urge to throw it all in and do something different."

Why you would want to give up your position as the dimmest bulb in the corporate chandelier is beyond me, but to help determine who best wears the smarty pants at your workplace, Stillman offers assistance. After Stillman consulted consultant Liz Ryan, the founder and CEO of Human Workplace, the three signs were born.


"Problem, what problem?" is sign No. 1.

Ryan believes that it is important to learn new skills to evolve as a person and a worker. At a sufficiently smart job, she asserts, you'll be surrounded by people who are more intelligent than you and who inspire you to "insist on regularly stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone."


This is fuzzy thinking at best. You may want to stretch -- for example, when you wake up from an afternoon nap in the supply closet -- but you really don't want to be pulled and prodded like Stretch Armstrong on steroids.


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