Job Titles: All about that EGO
Ever so often, I come across candidates who are finicky about the job title, regardless of the excellent advancement the opportunity provides- more exposure, learning, experience and credibility to their careers.
These candidates become myopic to what their business cards would read and really miss the larger picture.
Don’t get me wrong- I am all for Job Titles- Job titles provide pride, self-respect and admiration amongst peers, friends and family, and are also useful for career progression. Well, let me put it this way, job titles are important but should not become deal breakers.
Job titles are meant to tell people what one does, but today, I ask myself “Have job Titles become an insignia of pride and ego?”
When candidates let go of a great career opportunity they fail to realize that the experience and knowledge they would acquire from this career opportunity could be far more important and valuable than a job title.
Job titles are important at multiple levels, in organisations, it symbolizes what one does, it gives identity for a grade which in turn leads to compensation and benefits structure and clarifies path for career progression. It is what is printed on the business cards, and a senior sounding title is always accorded more respect and authority than others. It also raises the social esteem and standing among peers.
However, at times candidates get carried away and make unreasonable demands of titles that don’t describe what they do but just make them sound important and gives their ego a boost. Such a job title is not helpful to anyone because the roles and responsibilities stay the same.
In the long run when they plan to move jobs again, their job titles could be an exit barrier- consultants may not even approach them as they have a senior sounding title- even though the work they do is relevant for the opportunity the consultant has!
Whereas there has to be market linked realism attached to giving titles to role scopes and corresponding compensation, outlandish titles must be avoided as well.
Current job titles fail the very objective of its existence; for example it’s a trend today for booming start-ups to come up with exaggerated, weird job titles to attract candidates but these titles sound juvenile and lack vision. This trend shows that corporates are now using job titles to attract talent, especially in sectors that lack good talent.
Care should always be taken (by the candidate) to ensure that a job title doesn’t become an exit barrier and (by the employer) to ensure that the job title is not a barrier to attract great talent. It should be JUST RIGHT
And here is some food for thought, “Job titles don’t make someone a leader and real leaders don’t need job titles.”