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How to choose a job title without the fluff

Job title: play it up or not?

These days, it seems like job titles don't say much. They're becoming more and more difficult to understand in my opinion.
Ask any kid what s/he wants to be when s/he grows and you'll understand what I mean: baker, firefighter or, in my case, zoo manager. We dealt in the concrete. Nowadays, children dream of becoming brand content manager, data scientist or CRM project leader.
If it's difficult to understand a position, it's probably because the pool of professions is larger than ever before, constantly evolving, and each specialty has its own vocabulary.

At KaraFun Group, just like at LinkedIn, our employees choose their titles

On top of that, job titles are in always in English (despite being based in France) simply because we propose our services largely to the western anglophone market. Meet the team!
I found it fun to have attributed “Guardian of the Vision” for myself, but when I really think about it, it's actually a bit pompous and not very practical on my part. I've since gone back to the classic title of CEO. Why? Because that's what I do! There are so many ways to be a CEO, and the title will never really sum it all up. But it's been said, a title doesn't define your personality nor your strength. It just needs to be effective

So, what is it that you do?

Rare are those that diverge from answering this question in a professional context. We are not our job title, but it counts in the eyes of others, and our ego knows that quite well.
Take Linkedin: an important tool for the job-seeker or the career-minded individual in search of expanding his/her network. Choosing the right title is a heavy burden, required for immediate understanding of your profile. And while I too, would love to see things like "I love knitting," "I'm passionate about cacti" or "I'm a composting pro," unfortunately, titles label us.

How to choose the wrong title

There are a couple routes for heading in the wrong direction. By avoiding them, you can, I hope, find the perfect job title.

Keep it abstract
Corporate Ideation Consultant
Extension job titles are a source of complexity. Might as well just invent your own job title. No need though, there are already tools for that like Bullshit Job Title Generator [https://www.bullshitjob.com/title/].

String together multiple job titles
Marketing Manager, Search Engine Analyst & Sound Designer
It's entirely possible that you wear many hats in your company. And that's completely ok, because there's nothing more frustrating than hearing "It's not in my job description" when you ask a colleague for a hand (even if that's the case, that's a subject for another blog article!). And if having multi-roles is your case, take the one that best represents your daily work, or better, the one that is the most emblematic of your contributions.

Exaggerate unabashedly
Lead Guru Marketing Manager
Maybe you think that this will give you that leg up, that extra little punch, but is seems to me that this actually has the opposite effect. It's even a bit narcissistic, no? Opt for something clear, simple and effective.

Spotlight achievements
Sales Person of the Year 2017
While mentioning these accomplishments on a CV is a very good idea, having this as your job title isn't really the place. Doing so keeps you in the past and doesn't accurately represent your daily contributions to the company.

Apply Pressure
Administrative and Financial Director
Face it, you're in this position in large part because of the tasks associated with it and you shoulder the responsibilities that come with it. That being said, you reason that you don't have the necessary experience nor the name-power of Google on your CV. If this is your case, and without devaluing yourself, choose a title that's just slightly more realistic and that will alleviate any self-imposed pressure.

I don't like my job title

Ok, all set! You've just found the perfect job title, and you absolutely dig it… or not! Maybe, a bit like Grouchy Smurf, you aren't loving it all that much after all. If you like your job, but cannot find that perfect representation in words, take advice from other people. Other points of view will likely help you to open the field of possibilities.

Author

Jean-Baptiste

CEO