Your Job Title Matters

Your Job Title Matters

I left this comment on a feed on LinkedIn; I am sharing here. Yes, people do write that job titles do not matter. I will say please it does matter, and if you can get a better one, invest in it – and get it. Those days in Diamond Bank, I admired my entry level job title – Banking Executive. When they promoted me and gave me the Banking Officer title, it was very unfortunate for one to move from “Executive” to “Officer”.

In an engineering firm I worked in the U.S. post-PhD, there was no written policy on job title. You make up whatever you want for your business card. You do not blame the workers because you can be hired as Analog Design Engineer II, if you stay there for 30 years, you can end up, officially, with Analog Design Engineer XIII. Good luck explaining what the I, II, etc mean to friends. To fix that problem, leave the official title for paygrade, and pick anything you want for the outside, and feel happy.

LinkedIn does not have an option for Village Boy. Many of us would have gone for it. Simply, titles do matter especially in Africa. Many companies will make time for someone with a title Chief Marketing Officer when compared with a Sales Officer. As one of our faculty members discussed in Tekedia Min-MBA, sales management and marketing work on perception. And the messenger matters.  Yes, invest in that title and make sure they give you a good one in office. Titles are like ladders to higher titles and they directly or indirectly showcase responsibilities. 

It is a big illusion to think people do not pay attention to titles: who wants to meet the deputy managing director when the managing director is also available?

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One thought on “Your Job Title Matters

  1. It works both ways, so depending on the messenger and recipient, it can turnout great or ugly.

    Job titles are like addresses, which make it easier to sort through things, conveying meaning without wasting time.

    But it has the same puzzle with that of ‘over promise and under deliver, or under promise and over deliver.’

    Your big title can easily make the stakes very high, and on meeting you, you sound unconvincing or too shallow; your big title now becomes your undoing…

    On the other hand, you have those with no titles, only to get blown away on meeting them. Now you weren’t expecting much, but you ended up being surprised and wowed; leaving with a better impression.

    So, on the whole, it’s slippery road, just know where your big titles really offer an advantage, else it’s over.

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