How much does your title define you?
I was thinking about that while reading the Content Marketing Institute’s CCO magazine — for Chief Content Officers. Great publication–but it made me ponder if a one-woman creative content company with a tiny, but solid and growing client list, really needs C-suite titles. I’m thinking no. I’ve worked for design firms and agencies so small we didn’t put titles on our biz cards; that way we could assume any role in a meeting or proposal that was required. Recently in a meeting, I heard a fairly senior executive refer to the very visible and highly placed head of his corporation as “Grand Poobah.” I’m betting he doesn’t call him that to his face.
During the heady new days of the dot coms, all sorts of strange and quite wonderful titles began appearing–Chief Humour Officer, Director of Originality, Brainy Guy (that was my title at a hip agency I wrote for because I was the only one who could decipher what the new tech clients were actually trying to sell), Corporate Jester–but when the VC money dried up, so did the cute monikers. I guess I could call myself Chief Content Diva or The Goddess of Words, but those titles aren’t really on brand — and just a tad too fey for me. Word Grower? Brand Story Gardener? Copy Pruner (that would be for editing, I guess). Nope, too cute and they’d all require additional explanations–clients are busy people, no need to burden them with something else to figure out. The bank likes me to be “president” so I can be responsible for the money, but I prefer “senior writer” (and the “senior” part comes from doing this job for more than a quarter century, not because I have a few “juniors” on staff).
So what’s your title? Does it bear any relationship to what you actually do? Like it or not, we are what we are called. That’s why it’s always better to name yourself. If you could make up your own title, what would it be?