I must be at least a little bit important

2012-09-27 15:35

My last job title in online publishing was that of Editor-in-Chief.

‘So you must run the whole business!’ said my mom excitedly, the first time I showed her my business card.

‘Do you have a whole floor of an office? Do people quake when you walk out onto the newsroom floor? How many secretaries do you have?’

‘Ah, none,’ I said, a little sheepish.

‘I don’t have an office; I share a desk with Deirdre in a corner near the kitchen. And no one quakes, because I’m part of the newsroom. I just manage the eight or so women who write the women’s lifestyle content.’

‘Ah,’ said my dad. ‘So, kinda like your last job where you were the Strategic Planning Director, without actually having any of the directorship powers or fiduciary duties or significant monetary benefits?’

‘Exactly,’ I confirmed.

‘But I must be at least a little bit important, right? I mean, they wouldn’t give me these amazing job titles if I wasn’t kinda sort-of senior, right?’

The truth is, in this world, everyone’s an Editor. Or a Manager.

Or even a Director.

It seems that, in our effort to impress each other – or at least convince clients that they are getting significant bang for their buck – we have totally broken job titles.

I’m forever reading CVs where people have gone straight from varsity to management… when in actual fact all they do is manage a company’s Twitter stream.

Even more insane, so many buy into the ridiculousness of their own job titles.

‘I’ve come so far in such a short space of time,’ a 25-year-old fledgling manager told me the other day, in all solemnity.

‘It’s important to me that my career stays on the fast track and I expect my job titles to reflect that.’


What are you expecting to be by 45?

Supreme Queen of Absolutely Everything? Given the way titles are going, she may well be.

Enough, I say. We’re never going to learn anything if we keep acting like such super-important know-it-alls.

Let’s start scaling back down.

Or better yet, just start introducing ourselves based on what we actually do.

‘Hi, I’m Sam. I write stuff for websites.’

‘Pleased to meet you. I’m Frank. I try to get people to buy insurance. And Sue here decorates other people’s houses.’

Isn’t that just so much better? I think so.

» Sam Wilson writes stuff for the Woolworths website. And the odd column. But mostly for Woolies.
» Get your iMag with City Press on Sunday

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