Sorry, your job title is what?

Job titles are important, they give people a sense of identity, in some cases power but also help to define what area of expertise a job falls into. But what if no one can work out from the title what job is actually is?  A familiar job title is ‘Secretary’, most people will know what is required in this role. What if you came across the job title ‘Head of verbal communications’? Would you believe this title is a decorated variation of ‘Secretary’, not to mention a mouthful!

Just for fun, any ideas what job a ‘Knowledge Navigator’ refers to? I’ll give you a hint, you can find them in all teaching establishments..guessed yet? It’s a ‘Teacher’!

Why do we feel the need to super inflate and over complicate a job title?

I have a few theories.

  1.  The human instinct to protect yourself and your job, so use a job title to make you sound more important than what you actually are
  2. It is to make the job sound more interesting to attract the more curious individual who will discover the job is not as complicated as the job title suggests and apply. An ‘Environment improvement technician’ does pique your curiosity more than ‘Cleaner’ would.
  3. As humans, attitudes and egos have evolved along with the need for more gregarious job titles. We are no longer content with simplicity but want everything to be bigger, better, more exciting and innovative, including our job titles.

It’s interesting to see how the use of certain words such as ‘Guru’, ‘Ninja’ (yes there are job titles that incorporate this), ‘Chief’, the list is endless,  can propel a basic job title to the next level. Why be a lowly Marketing intern when you can be a Senior Road Warrior Marketing Intern.  The use of Manager does not quite have that oomph, so you opt for The Social Media Badass instead to hit home how completely excellent you are at updating Facebook and Twitter 😉

Joking aside and on a more serious note, using an over inflated job title could harm your job search. How are you to be placed in a role when the recruiter and future employer cannot figure out from your job title what your job was and are having a laugh at your expense?

However, depending on the industry sector the prospective employer may find it quirky and think you have an imagination.

It’s about finding the right balance between being creative and being downright silly.

Try out some of these online jobs title generators and see what your creative job title could be

http://www.cubefigures.com/job.html

http://www.mithrilandmages.com/utilities/Occupation.php

References

http://www.imediaconnection.com/article_full.aspx?id=32359

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18855099

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