You do often hear the joke “Chief Bottle Washer” as someone’s self-designated job title. Maybe they do do some of that, just pitching in in the coffee room, no doubt. Still, they may in fact be the most helpful team mate there. This self-title is both humble and funny, revealing interesting characteristics about your co-worker, boss, or employee.
Kidding aside, titles have always meant a lot – VP of Sales and Marketing, vs Account Manager – connotes leadership, success, judgment, authority, responsibility. But doesn’t that depend on the size of the company? TD Bank vs a new venture with 6 employees? Sort of tradition vs JLabs, MaRS, Silicon Valley and Waterloo, ON start ups.
Sure, titles are part of the promotion hierarchy, and have a value.
But some companies are now looking at exciting, unusual, descriptive, challenging titles to attract millenials and Gen Z, who seek excitement outside of tradition. For example, “data wrangler” vs “data analyst”, “VP, People” vs “head of human resources”, “shine artists” vs “shoe shine boys”. Some of these suggest that the person is more creative and talented. Some companies even give new employees the ability to choose their own descriptive titles. Whatever they will be proud of when they hand out a business card and will motivate them in their jobs (Wall Street Journal, Thursday Nov 15, 2018).
How will this affect one’s ability to move up in the next company? A professional resume which properly describes his/her job functions and successes will totally illustrate the unusual extra characteristics depicted in the title and serve to clarify. May even show someone who thinks outside the box.
Many people will say they don’t care about titles when they are being interviewed for a position,
and some really mean this, and feel that responsibilities, culture, reputation and prestige of the company, remuneration mean more. At a high level, you can always find people with recent titles such as Director, Manager, even VP, intermixed, probably reflecting the size of the different organizations. But some people want advancement through title.
The point is, these days, that as usual, there is not one answer, but there are refreshing and exciting approaches being taken.
This past holiday season, did you think about what you would rather be?
Santa Claus OR Benefits Manager?
Caroler OR PR Manager?
Choir Master OR Project Manager?
The Grinch OR Chief Compliance Officer?
Rudolph OR Team Leader?
Christmas Elf OR Associate Engineer?
Whichever way you see yourself, be the best you! And great success in 2019 from Hess Associates.
Paula Strasberg is VP Recruiting, Hess Associates (Search)
And President of Editmyresumenow.com