If you visit this cowshed, you will be met by the Chief First Impressions Officer, who will then become the Director of Refreshments followed by the Head of Practical Psychology, a.k.a, me. Self-employed readers will know how it is working for ourselves: we can be whoever we want to be, but we have to be everybody required at times, too. But job titles, real or imagined, can motivate us.
In the UK at the moment, job titles are going quirky. The government calls psychologists, Behavioural Scientists and would like ministers to call themselves Choice Architects. Now sorry to say this – and I’ve worked with hundreds – but I’ve found very few politicians to be overwhelmingly creative. Whereas architects? Well, you can’t get any sense out of them for proliferation of ideas.
So what’s going on here? I suspect it is do with data overflow and too much choice. People are making announcements all over the place redefining what they do based on creating structure, building metaphorical containers, discernment and critical thinking. The MD of John Lewis, Andy Street, in a tv interview, described how the retailer aims to be Editor Of Choice for their customers, taking some decisions for them. US professor Jay Rosen has talked about how journalists need to reach ‘the users formerly knows as the audience’, becoming Dockbuilders for News. And on the web we are already Editors and Publishers, whatever our quality.
Employers often use titles to appeal to our vanity. Much more pleasant to be a Smoking/White Carbohydrate/Alchohol Cessation Officer than to be described as the How-Fags/Blubber/Hooch-Can-Kill Operative. And job titles reflect our organizations’ purpose and image: how does Head of Philanthropic Evangelism, Director of Acceleration/Restructuring or Leader of Listening grab you?
Your Future Title
Now you may be in a role that you currently loathe, or be finding the time of year tough-going. So why not, in the style of an imaginary friend, have an imaginary job title or two to see you through? For sure in a year’s time anyway, people will have job titles no one has yet dreamt up. Based on where work may grow then, here are some suggestions:
Guru on Ageing/ Passion and Performance (instead of pay)/Global Anything/Money Saving Technology
TransMedia Content Creator/ Educator /Engager
Interactive Specialist – cross-application
Ms/Mr Fix-It for SMEs and home technology
Seller of anything Folksy, Quirky and Authentic (live and online)
Propagator of Ethical and Green messages which are entertaining not earnest
Friends suggested some real interpretations of their job titles, which included:
Manager for Passed Their Sell-Bys Who Won’t Shift
Water Treader and Manic Networker
Stooge to Guardian Deity
Most usefully perhaps though, we can all search our inspiration for job titles that hint at:
Stuff People Are Going to Want More Of
Stuff that Clarifies and Simplifies
Stuff that Helps Others Be Smart
Now, bear with me while I morph into Head of User Participation and Feedback Generation. Please add your own job title suggestions here in the comments section. Thank-you.