There used to be a time when if you were looking for a job, say for an accountant or receptionist, you’d scan the ads and look for “Accountant” or “Receptionist.” There was no gray area. We knew what those job titles meant and we searched accordingly. Lately, though, it’s not so cut and dry. I don’t know if businesses are trying to be witty and clever, or if they’re going the hipster route in order to weed out the old-asses like myself, but many of the job titles I come across are too ambiguous to tell what the job is about.
Yesterday I posted a job for a “Copy Architect.” I almost passed by this opportunity because I wasn’t sure what it is exactly a Copy Architect does. Turns out it’s a job for a writer. What’s wrong with saying you need a writer?
Job titles are getting a little silly now. Check out some of the titles I’ve come across over the past couple of years:
- “Whisperers” – Specifically “Content Whisperer,” “Code Whisperer,” and “Growth Whisperer.” I’m not sure what anyone is suggesting with “Whisperer” attached to a job title. I doubt there’s any real whispering going on here. And how do you whisper growth anyway?
- “Guru,” “Ninja,” “Rockstar,” “Superhero,” “Wizard,” “Magician,” “Badass” – Can we all agree that whoever applies for or lands these roles are most likely not wizards or gurus? Talk about pressure.
- “Office Overlord” A cringe-worthy name for someone who organizes office parties and answers the phones.
- “Freelance Hunter and Gatherer: ” What does it even mean? How can you possibly know what this company wants by looking at the job title? Are they sending this person out for deer and berries every day?
- “Ambassador of Customer Love:” No, this company isn’t looking for a sex worker, this is a customer service and marketing title.
- “Accounting Wrangler:” Is someone being hired to lasso accountants? How does that even work? And how hard is it to say you’re looking for an accountant?
- “Wranglers” in general – You keep using that word… I do not think it means what you think it does. Just say no to Finance Wranglers, Human Resources Wranglers, Excellence Wranglers, or Marketing Wranglers. Friends don’t let friends hire wranglers.
- Time Ninja: This is a Human Resources professional, FYI.
- “Disruptor” – Another title used to convey badassery where non exists. You’re a marketer. you do marketing. You’re not disrupting anything.
- “Instigator” – See “Disruptor” above.
- “World Changer” – No one’s awarding anyone the Noble Peace Prize for coming up with a social media strategy. Maybe it’s time to come down a peg.
- “Growth Tiger” I just can’t with this one.
- “Happiness Meister” – “Happiness” is a popular job title usually used for customer service. I also witnessed its use with “Chief Happiness Hacker,” “Happiness Wrangler,” and “Director of Happiness.” Mercifully, I haven’t come across a “Happiness Whisperer.” Yet.
- “Director of Smiles” – Not every customer service encounter ends with a smile. If you’re promising smiles in your job title you better gosh darn well deliver.
- “Digital Prophet” – Good gravy.
Go ahead and call me “old fashioned,” but I want a job title that reflects exactly what I do with no ambiguity, and if I’m hiring? I want the same. Many of these quirky job titles aren’t just silly, they make no sense.
Unless you’re guiding hikers up Everest, you’re not a Sherpa.