What I have to say will most likely go against what you’ve been told, and maybe even what you’ve spent quite some time working toward: Forget about your job title!
A job title is a handful of words that are strung together to describe everything you do in your professional role. But let’s be honest: The odds of that job title encompassing everything you do and what you bring to the table are slim to none.
Stop striving for a specific job title or ranking.
What to Focus On
Instead, focus on the value, importance, and quality you are responsible for that helps turn the cogs in the big machine. This change in thinking outside of your job title can generate an increase in your self-worth and lead you to hold a more positive perspective.
You see, it always “sounds good” when someone’s job title includes “Director,” “Manager,” or “Coordinator.” But aren’t most roles directing, managing, and coordinating something?
For example, an intern can be the director of all walk-in guests, manager of incoming mail, and coordinator for in-house deliveries.
When the focus isn’t on the job title attached to your email signature, your world opens up some more, allowing room for dignity and commitment to your position to slip in.
And really, did the person who came up with the job title spend hours crafting the perfect sequence of words to describe what you do? Probably not. So forget about the job title!
Answering the Question
We all get asked the question, “What do you do?”
Instead of answering with your job title, try something different. Forget it, and answer the question differently.
Put an emphasis on what you really do and the difference you make in your profession.
Think of it as answering with a one-liner rather than a job title. This one-liner should include some primary actions you are responsible for and a “why” that ties into your company’s mission or core values.
Back to the intern example.
The intern’s one-liner can be, “I’m responsible for managing all receivables and directing guests at Company XYZ, which allows my company to enhance quality and guest experience.”
Or even better: “I’m part of enhancing quality and guest experience at Company XYZ by managing all receivables and directing guests, among other things.”
When you answer the “What do you do?” question like this, rather than with your vague job title, you paint a more interesting — not to mention accurate — picture.
Answering in a one-liner doesn’t just allow you to forget the job title that falls short in describing your professional role. It also shows that you’re confident in what you do. And why shouldn’t you be? You do a lot!
It’s time to start being confident in what you bring to the table outside the confines of your job title. I challenge you to come up with a one-liner for yourself and take it for a test drive.