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Old 27th September 2020, 15:28   #1
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Default Wacky job titles & designations

Job titles can get tricky these days and often it's not possible to figure out what exactly a new colleague of yours does (equally your colleagues may scratch their heads about what your role is). In many companies a large chunk of the workforce is still made up of inexperienced blokes unfamiliar with the creative depths their leaders are plumbing to conjure up such titles. It seems that periodic refreshers may be necessary to keep such hapless people educated about who they are really interacting with.

Startups feel that conventional job titles do not do justice to their 'complex' environment. Add to it the fact that you can't hire too many people so you want the few to do as much as possible. Simple English such as 'Business Development Manager' seems too direct and may offer scope to chicken out of some responsibility. So call the role 'Growth Hacker' and you can pretty much dump anything on that person.

Job descriptions are increasingly making use of aggressive words such as 'Sales Hunter' to warn potential candidates what to expect - a hostile environment, few or no companions, scarce prey and possibility of going hungry. If 'hunter' sounds too crude you have the option of adding an oriental touch by calling the role 'Sales Samurai'. The Orient is a happy hunting ground for titles. Thus you have Coding 'Ninjas', Scrum 'Masters' and 'Black Belts'.

Since a lot of data these days is collected via web scraping and is messy, a Data Analyst will no longer do. You need 'Data Wranglers' because 'analysis' is something that will happen very late in the day or will be done by someone with the title 'Insights Guru'.

The title which offers most convenience to recruiters is 'Rock Star'. If you are struggling with describing what qualities you need from the new recruit, simply add the words Rock Star to the function. Ideally it would mean you are looking for someone who is highly skilled, creative, energetic bordering on insane and pushing for the controversial. Unfortunately many people don't understand what a rockstar means and use it to mean extroverts, problem solvers and likeable people, quite different from what real rockstars are.

One set of people I do not grudge lofty titles are the folks who work in the admin departments. For too long office goers have treated them as managerial extensions of housekeeping jobs. Hence when they get elevated to 'Community Managers' I have no issue. What I do have a grudge about is people using fancy titles to escape the grunt work and to pretend that they are meant for more eclectic things. So when you have trained in engineering or analytics, but find yourself struggling with machines or numbers in real life, you go ahead and call yourself an Evangelist. This is my hands down favorite - 'Evangelist'. You can prefix pretty much everything to this word and let the employee feel that the whole world is a potential conversion target. This is a great title for people who believe they are good at speaking and influencing others, but even more so for those who feel they have a moral obligation to do it.

Job descriptions don't have to be whacky sounding to be nebulous. One that has gained currency during the last decade is a pretty boring sounding 'Chief Business Officer'. For the life of me I have never understood what that means. I always thought that everything that happens within the 4 walls of an office is 'business' and the CEO is the 'Chief' Business guy. Now you have CEO, COO, CBO all existing together. Sometimes this is a result of accommodating a disgruntled loyalist. I have known people who went simply by the title 'General Manager'.

In my short stint in the restaurant business I came across people calling themselves 'mixologists', 'culinary curators' and 'customer experience specialists'. It is all a mutual admiration society. Such people also attempted to put me on a pedestal by calling me a 'risk taking entrepreneur' when there was nothing enterprising about my cuisine, my setup was pretty humble and budget grade and I had not risked much at all. They expected the same admiration in return for their fancy job descriptions.

To each his own. However be sympathetic to the ones receiving these titles, especially at the bottom end of the ladder. If some poor hard working chap who has studied under the street lamp wants to give the good news to his parents that he has landed a decent job, the parents should actually feel happy instead of wondering what their child is going to do as a 'Digital Sorcerer'.

What are some interesting job titles you have come across? No people/department bashing please.

[Disclaimer: No offence to anyone with these titles. I have myself been through stages in my life where I have had identity issues and meaningless job profiles. It's all a part of the journey these days.]
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Old 27th September 2020, 15:35   #2
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Default re: Wacky job titles & designations

In year 2000, towards the end of the first dotcom boom, in the Valley, I met one 'Chief Fulfillment Officer' . Some weeks later it got better. I met a 'Chief Satisfaction Officer'.
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Old 27th September 2020, 15:52   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
In year 2000, towards the end of the first dotcom boom, in the Valley, I met one 'Chief Fulfillment Officer' . Some weeks later it got better. I met a 'Chief Satisfaction Officer'.
Chief Satisfaction Officer

Interestingly 'satisfaction' is no longer an acceptable metric. It has changed to 'Happiness' and in some cases 'Delight'. The natural progression is 'Ecstasy'. I hope I will live to see that day.
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Old 27th September 2020, 16:30   #4
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Default re: Wacky job titles & designations

I don't know if it fits here but one of my friends had a title "Senior Assistant Deputy Vice President" at a KPO. Having 4 level prefixes against the rank was whacky in my opinion.

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Old 27th September 2020, 16:37   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapish View Post
I don't know if it fits here but one of my friends had a title "Senior Assistant Deputy Vice President" at a KPO. Having 4 level prefixes against the rank was whacky in my opinion.

Tapish
Senior Executive Vice President is not uncommon in some companies I know. But this takes the cake (it also gets abbreviated to SAD-VP which is not very motivating). Most such positions are created to push some people into the 'VP' bracket because it means so much to them. Not referring to your friend here. The post was probably already there and he grew into it.

Last edited by Malyaj : 27th September 2020 at 16:42.
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Old 27th September 2020, 17:42   #6
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Default re: Wacky job titles & designations

When working with a start up recently, The CEO designation was expanded as a Chief Everything Officer. Not a bad one in my opinion. Grabbed my attention.
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Old 27th September 2020, 22:04   #7
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Somewhat off topic: In all honesty, I am not very keen on all these titles. Over the years titles have become pretty meaningless I find. There is also a distinct cultural part to job titles and academic titles. In some parts of the world and some industries both could be quite important. Or so I am told. Never quite sure whether they are important to the person informing me as such, or whether it is actually true.

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Old 27th September 2020, 22:22   #8
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Default re: Wacky job titles & designations

The most ridiculous thing I saw was one fine day our management made Engineer I was the junior role where as Engineer II was the next level. ( until then it was other way round)

This just shows how pointless the titles until you reach a certain level.

Job titles are for buttering people up (mid mangement)
When it top mangement it when people take notice (CEO, CTO,VP etc)
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Old 27th September 2020, 22:33   #9
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Default re: Wacky job titles & designations

The more wackier a job title, the more obvious that it's been done to pamper an ego or is put together as recruitment bait or a retention tactic.

Whatever the objective, the more wackier the more hollow they sound, have an air of triviality about them and convey a feeling that the guy with that title isn't really a performer. And that's usually right.
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Old 27th September 2020, 22:39   #10
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Default re: Wacky job titles & designations

My first job (year 2000) was at a computer online Tech Support startup. I was responsible for internet advertising of our business. I was asked to choose a "cool sounding" job title for the business card, and I picked the title "WEB JOCKEY". Not quite sure why I thought that was cool though!
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Old 28th September 2020, 01:02   #11
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These days, it is impossible to figure out the hierarchy based on the job title. In my company, Director used to report to VP. Then we got acquired and the titles got reversed while the roles remained same. So now the VP reports to the Director.
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Old 28th September 2020, 12:13   #12
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https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/ch...l?guccounter=1

Chief Yahoo

Cheers
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Old 28th September 2020, 12:20   #13
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Default re: Wacky job titles & designations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malyaj View Post
The natural progression is 'Ecstasy'. I hope I will live to see that day.
Yes, even NCB will be interested to know

On the thread topic, to paraphrase Shakespeare, 'A worker by any other name will still have to do the same work'.
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Old 28th September 2020, 12:43   #14
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Default re: Wacky job titles & designations

Yesterday, at an IOC petrol bunk, I saw the guy filling air wearing a jacket that said "Air Tower Operator" .

But I am kind of okay with giving a fancy titles to blue-collar jobs. Not for corporate white-collar jobs.
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Old 28th September 2020, 14:59   #15
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I dont think this is new or limited to white collar jobs. Remember the "pickaxe operators" from "the Gulf". Of course, many locals didnt know what Pickaxe was and assumed to be some big special machine since only those needed operators.
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