What do you do?
That sentence is asked so frequently that we all have an answer to it. It is usually one of the first 3 things a person asks you when you first meet and because of that, most of us strongly identify with our job title.
One of my very first projects in HR Consulting was helping a very large company realign their salaries and job titles. This project was so interesting to me because I learned so much about how and why people get paid what they do all over the world. But, the most shocking thing I learned was just how much people care about their titles.
If you want a quick and easy visual, go look at any startup’s employee list on LinkedIn… they give out senior titles like they are free candy the day after Halloween. They entice young professionals over by giving them senior titles.
Most larger companies will have a formal structure where a certain job title aligns to a certain salary range. This is a very simple example of what it looks like:
However, because people care SO MUCH about their titles, companies also spend hundreds of hours and thousands of consulting dollars figuring out the best way to let employees choose their very own custom-made job title.
For example: if Tim on the Sales Management Team wants to call himself “Southeast Region Sales Manager” … he can.
Throughout my 13-year HR career, I have spent many hours debating with my clients the merits of letting people choose what to call themselves in the form of a “working title” aka not your real job title. These were the most popular options:
Still don’t believe me? Start paying attention to the signature line on people’s emails. They are always interesting!
Now, the key is that whatever you choose to call yourself has no bearing on what your real job title & corresponding salary are. So why do people care?
It has been written about many times and the consensus is that social pressure to say something impressive is the reason we care. The truth is that we get asked the question so much that we are conditioned to care about how we answer it.
This whole thing might sound harmless but it actually does cause a lot of harm.
How many of you are staying at a job you hate because you have a title that sounds impressive? Because each time someone asks you what you are doing, you feel proud of saying it out loud?
That is exactly what the problem is. You care so much about words on paper that do not do anything real for your life, for words that don’t mean anything, you care so much that you are risking your happiness on it.
You are willing to opt out of career satisfaction over a title that doesn’t matter!
This week I want you to challenge yourself to 2 things:
Once you do it, please email me and let me know how this week’s challenge treated you!
If you are a highly motivated & ambitious professional that works hard and is ready to accelerate the growth and success of your professional career - this class is for you! Join me in this free masterclass to learn how to position yourself as an expert, attract jobs on autopilot & get offers to the exact jobs you want!