Maybe it’s because I’ve been in the technology business most of my career, but I’m jaded when it comes to job titles I see on business cards. Most have no meaning at all.
My least favorite job title is Project Manager. That’s the catch-all title for people who do a bunch of tasks that can’t be grouped under any discipline. If that sounds a little too pedestrian just preface it with Lead, Group or Senior to make it sound like you do even less work.
At some companies everyone is a VP. That was the case at the last company I worked for. Put in a couple of good years and we’ll print business cards with VP in the title. It doesn’t matter what you’re VP over. Even VP of the Mailroom sounds impressive, but HR would call it VP of Document Distribution to make it sound more palatable and justify the annual bonus.
My business card says I’m a Technical Operations Manager. I don’t know what that means and I avoid answering the question, “What is your title?” because it always leads to, “Oh…so what is it that you do?”
The work I do isn’t very technical unless you count getting Outlook to work each day. I’m not sure I have anything to do with operations either. Makes it sound like I sit in the back room and fiddle with computers all day. As fun as that sounds that’s not what I do.
Manager. Now that sounds important. Reminds of my first job out of college when I worked as a Store Manager for $24,000/year. That felt like so much money I went out and bought a Mazda Miata.
During the winter.
In Rock Springs, Wyoming.
I realized my decision was flawed when I left my store at 9 pm only to find my Miata covered entirely in snow and was forced to take a cab home.
In my experience, any job I’ve had with manager in the titles means spending 75% of my time doing paperwork of some sort. I’ll write reviews, place orders, fill out forms and get so tired of writing that I want to poke my eyes out with a Sharpie.
What is your job title and what should it really be? I’d like to change mine to Paperwork Guru.