Invariably, when you walk into a social gathering and realise you will have to introduce yourself to others, your mind races, thinking ‘What should I say?’, since job titles form an important source of social standing and personal identify. What most people want to know, indeed, they will often press you to find out, is what you do for a living? What is your job title?
In today’s society, we have become significantly defined by our job titles, and we often define ourselves by our titles. Job titles serve a number of roles; communicating your authority on a subject to people, letting people know what you do in your job, in a short-hand way.
This is what a job title does; it gives people you meet, and your customers and clients, a clear idea of where you work, what you do and at what level you do it at. It should give you credibility in your field. It’s something you use as a springboard on your career ladder. A good job title can acknowledge the value the company sees in your efforts and earn you respect from your peers and customers. It can indicate importance or “reward” employees in lieu of a salary increase.
You want a job title that not only accurately describes the work you’re employed to do, but also a title that reflects your pay ranking and seniority within the organisation. Job titles can be used as a measure by those who hire and recruit – they are a sort of yardstick. Recruiters gauge career progression by job titles (job titles are indicators of that progression as long as they are accompanied by job description and achievements that back up the title). In many cases, having a strong job title is your catapult to your next job.
Job titles also have emotions and expectations attached, as individuals have a need to feel intelligent, influential and important. Finally, job titles can empower employees, and they may even prompt positive behaviours, such as taking more initiative or displaying greater leadership. For all of these reasons, enhancing job titles can be extremely motivating to employees. For example, using the term “Manager” in a title implies that you manage resources, manage clients/customers, their accounts or manage projects.
Having titles that are clear, common, well respected, and well understood is very important. Having titles that are regularly reviewed is also important. Sometimes, the title is even more important that the salary.