Blog Post

What's In a Name? (You Are NOT Your Job Title)

Mike Carden

Vice President Small Business Operations

Internal Principal Human Functionality Administrator? Really? So many job titles are confusing, pretentious or lame. Or they are so vague and ambiguous they no longer have any meaning.

Administration Ambassador. Really? Could you hold your head up high if your name tag said Social Media Scientist? Or Job Systems Wizard? Would you accept a LinkedIn request from an IT Gunslinger, Dragonslayer, or Rockstar? (I would. Just saying.)

Who’s fault is this? Does HR create these job titles or just condone them?

Who’s in charge here?! Is it the Chief Motivation Officer, or the Content Catalyst Coordinator or the Daydream Believer?

Job titles can be useful – done right

This is what a job title does: it gives people you meet, and your customers and clients, a clear idea of where you work, what you do and at what level you do it at. This is also what a job title should do: it should give you credibility in your field; It’s something you use as a springboard on your career ladder.

This is what a job title can do: it can empower you. It can acknowledge the value the company sees in your efforts and earn you respect from your peers and customers. It can indicate importance, or "reward" employees in lieu of raises.

And sometimes it can also make people smile, a little.

If you don’t get away from your computer much, a job title can show what a quirky, no-BS maverick you are. It’s an interaction with the public that displays your personal panache. You can be a Guru, Wrangler, Head Cheese, Geek, Ninja, Wizard, Imagineer, or Twitterologist. Especially if you wear a costume during work hours.

Why complicate things?

Remember when HR was still Personnel? Then there was a 90’s PC trend for taking simple, self explanatory job titles and making them 3-part, gender neutral, over engineered and pretentious McJob Titles.

Everything had to end in Facilitator, Liaison, Producer, Coordinator, or Planner. And Officer? Like there’s a medal or a uniform involved? When everyone in the company is a Senior who becomes Most Senior of All?

Does a business with 15 employees really need a COO? Do you have enough sous-chefs in your kitchen or are you running with a bunch of Gordon Ramsays?

Do it right

Please start creating job titles that actually mean something. And share your favorite job titles with us in the comments!

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