Job titles are a central point of focus for many professionals. They reference them to determine their job status and career progress. In many instances job titles are a good barometer for success. However, employees tend to focus too much on using them to judge if they’re on track in their career. Job titles do have many functions for both employers and employees. Realizing what those are will ensure you’re not over analyzing your title.

Employer Job Title Functions

Firstly, to begin thinking about job titles, it’s important to look at them from the employer perspective. This approach shows the functional side of job titles. For a company, an employee’s job title is a way to classify an employee. Ideally, it illustrates what an employee’s responsibilities are at their organization. However, this isn’t it’s only purpose. Job titles also help structure the hierarchy for many companies. This determines who reports to who, and helps with planning out compensation. Now that you know how employers use job titles, we can discuss what they mean to you as an employee.

Happy Smiling Employee Sitting Back in Chair

You should find job satisfaction in your work, not your job title.

What Job Titles Do For You

Job titles play a huge role in personal branding for any professional. How you are regarded by your current organization plays a big part in raises, promotions, and resume consideration. Having a strong job title could help you achieve the next step in your career. Despite this, it’s important that you find comfort in your work, not your job title. Your main concern should be if your title is generally accurate in terms of describing your job function. A job title shouldn’t be enough to explain what you do. If it is, you should try and diversify your responsibilities.

(Over?)Modernizing the Job Title

There is always a struggle to keep job titles current to the market and all responsibilities associated with a position. It’s the reason the Marine Corps is removing the word ‘man’ from 19 of their job titles. Job titles should reflect what you do, but you don’t want to go overboard. Chief Everything Officer (CEO), Marketing Ninja (Marketing Manager), First Impressions Officer (Secretary), and a thousand other more traditional job titles now have quirky modern permutations.

Worker with a Katana in his Briefcase

Advertising Ninja may sound fun on paper, but in practice these titles may be off putting to managers.

While they are fun, taking on a ‘new age’ job title may hurt you more than help you. The environment may be right at a small tech startup, or a large forward thinking company like Google, but many companies will be put off by these types of job titles. If you are searching for a new position, you may lose out if your new fun job title fails to include keywords that are essential to your resume getting visibility. These titles can come off as amateur, confusing, and even annoying to hiring managers or bosses. Always give a move to one of these titles extra consideration, not only in a present mindset, but also looking towards future job prospects.

In closing, we all have different concerns and expectations from job titles as we progress throughout our career. While they do have merit, it’s crucial not to lose sight of what is really important. Make sure you are doing the work you want to be doing, even if the job title may not fit your exact expectations. If you’re wondering what job titles had the largest growth in 2016, check out this great blog from Monster. Lastly, we hope you enjoyed this discussion on job titles, and check back on Wednesday for our next Interview Question of the Week!