The Death and Life of the Modern Job Title

A simple dichotomy I threw out on Twitter to tap into the Hive Mind:

“Job titles are meaningless. Job titles are important. Discuss.” @blankenship

A few choice responses:

“job titles are meaningless! They give false power and often stand in the way of real leadership and progress…influence is what matters…” @howardfrist

“useful if they help teams and partners understand roles” @jimalexander

“Perhaps a middle ground…not always meaningless, and not necessarily important. But sometimes, at least, useful.” @ploafmaster

“important for resume and coworker expectations” @jessephillips

A friend on Facebook responded with “I was Events Coordinator…now I am Events Manager and have found a new level of respect.” For doing the same job, with no change to the structure of the organization. Another says “important: in [my husband’s field] there is about a $15k difference between coordinator and manager.” Obviously in their cases, a job title is important.

A few months back, I was doing some business cards for the 5 or 6 of our staff that actually use/need them, and realized one of our guys had a title that didn’t reflect what he did. Obviously in his case, a job title is meaningless. (We changed it. No one noticed.)

Job titles are tools. Some of them are dull, some of them are valuable.

The naming of things is important, but don’t view the result as the boundary. The world doesn’t have to work that way anymore.