Job titles are a wankfest.
I should know. I was the greatest wanker in corporate history when it came to job titles. All was great when I got my first job in a bank call center.
We called ourselves slumdogs.
We worked on the rough side of town. We got the naughty customer calls and all the complaints. Oh, and the lost calls from customers who couldn’t find their way around our 1001 badly labeled departments.
All my colleagues got sacked.
It happened one afternoon. Called into a room. Sat down like prisoners. Given chocolate cake and teabags with hot water. Heads drawn on a whiteboard. Crosses through all heads. We all got the chop, I tell ya.
I walked over the road to the city gardens and cried.
11 months. Then fired. This dumb job was all I had. What would the parents say? What would my only two friends say?
In the lift on the way back to work out our slumdog days, my boss said softly, “Not you. We’re retaining you but perhaps keep it quiet.”
Saved by a wolf. Ready to join a new wolf pack.
That’s when I met the job title devil.
Give a man a fancy job title and watch him bust his balls
Over in the new building, I got an upgrade.
We were called bankers instead of call center workers. We wore fancy suits. We thought we were big shots.
The first title was subtle: “Sales consultant.”
It was a modest upgrade from slumdog — or scumbag, the word my old colleagues loved. The titles changed quickly as my career progressed. The next big upgrade was “Manager.”
The worst one was “Director.”
As soon as I got that job title my head couldn’t fit through the lobby door of the bank. I got addicted to it. My boss got addicted to it. My old call center colleagues called me “The Director.”
It made me sound like I was a co-owner of a 40,000-employee bank.
Nope. I had no ownership. The job title was a con to make me feel good. And I fell for it like a sucker. I worked 10x harder for my banking masters. I worked late too, often staying until 10 pm.
“What time did you leave last night, Jack?”
“6:30 pm. We went to the football.”
“Weak as piss mate. I left work after the game ended. That’s how us directors roll you little b*tch.”
These were the stupid conversations I had with my stupid job title. My manhood didn’t get any bigger, but boy did it feel like I was walking around with a 40-foot slong as the King D*ck of that office.
Job titles make us do dumb stuff and that’s why they’re addictive.
The unfiltered truth about job titles
Let’s get down to business so you can get off job title crack.
Job titles in email signatures are naughty
The strange thing about job titles given to you by an employer is they show up exactly as they should in the company staff directory.
But in email signatures, employees can edit them. And they love to. It’s better than making love with a supermodel.
For sh*ts and giggles I used to play with my job title all the time. Some days I’d be the global director of customer support and corporate banking. Other days it would be Senior Technical Guru of the CEO’s Office.
I made up these wanky job titles because I noticed so many of my colleagues and workers from suppliers/competitors did the same.
If they can do it, why not me?
Job titles in LinkedIn profiles are the wild west
If email signatures are level one, LinkedIn job titles are level 100.
I’m sure you’ve seen it…
Astronaut / Entrepreneur / Crypto World Leader / Fire Fighter / Homeless Shelter CEO — Busy changing the world one day at a time
In reality this person is probably a piss-ant with a job similar to where I began my career or unemployed. No disrespect to either classification, but it’s better to be honest than BS and get found out.
Job title depression is real
Mr Financial Samurai is a badass who quit investment banking to run a money blog. He nailed why job titles are crack.
He says the reason we try so hard to get promoted faster than anybody else is because of job titles. It fuels the workplace competition that makes people do dumb stuff and overwork themselves into an early grave.
When we get passed over for a promotion it’s not the extra responsibilities or the prospect of more work that slaps us in the face and causes depression. It’s the fact we miss out on the upgraded job title.
People will kill one another for a sexy job title.
And in the world of corporate, they often do. Humans walk over their fellow colleagues as if they’re dead bodies. Sad.
Social status is to blame
When you go to a party to throw a few shrimps on the barbie, what’s the first question strangers ask you?
What do you do for a living, mate?
As soon as your response takes too long or it’s too vague, the other person politely leaves. If you say a job title like Director, Manager, or Head of they cream their pants and can’t stop talking to you.
Your job title signals to the other apes in the pack where you are in the food chain. The need to impress is enormous.
After all, no one wants to get rejected. So we turn on our Hollywood actor mode and drop job title bombs.
The second form of job title crack
Job titles aren’t the only epidemic. Brand names are an issue too.
When you announce your job title and say Google, Apple, Airbnb or Tesla after it people can worship you even more.
Just take a look at LinkedIn. The amount of blind and clueless youths going around to tech company offices and taking selfies is excruciating. Getting a job at Google is supposed to equal success.
That’s the lie brand names want you to believe.
Really, it doesn’t mean Jack.
They’ll still work you like a dog and keep 99% of the value for themselves, while serving you the scraps and letting inflation rip your face off at the supermarket or gas station.
The crazy solution to job titles that’ll set you free
Job titles keep you in shackles.
They make you play someone else’s game while corporate puppet masters control your strings and tell you what to say.
Now that I’m out of the corporate rat race, I’ve had time to reflect on the job title nightmare. Something hit me…
When I meet new people and give them weird responses to questions like “What do you do for a living,” it seems to have a more powerful effect. Their curiosity helps elevate the conversation which builds relationships.
I don’t spit cookie-cutter job title answers anymore.
In my current online business, technically, according to the job title gods, I’m a founder and entrepreneur. In reality I don’t use any of these ridiculous freaking labels to big-note myself.
My email signature for my business just says “Regards, Tim.” I may change it to “Regards, Timbo” to make it even less formal.
Formality makes us peasants.
I’m sick of being a peasant. I want to be human again. I want to get rid of the job titles so I don’t look and talk like a sheep who follows the flock.
Because being weird as hell is the ultimate differentiator. Especially in my case where I have zero chance of being better. Being different is easier.
Instead of an ego-driven job title it’s better to let your work speak for itself.
Because when you do too much of the talking, using circus tricks like job titles, it inflates your ego which destroys any chance of success.
Get off the addictive drug of job titles. They’re a scamdemic.