One of my weird, non-financial pleasures is business cards.
There. I’ve said it. I love and collect business cards. From clients, to friends, to bars, to restaurants and my own vast array of previous cards that stated where I was employed or tied to at the time of going to print.
But could the meaningless job titles actually mean anything?
I was chatting to a friend over dinner the other day and she said something quite poignant… The agency she works at have refused her a promotion (and with it a pay rise) for two years. She then countered their ‘we’ve got no money’ claim (despite me seeing they achieved record revenue in the press let me tell you) with a simple fix for them, and for her. She requested that they give her the title but with no pay rise so she could progress in the team.
My own battle with climbing the ‘greasy industry pole’ (as a former boss once described it) indeed came across similar scenarios – although I’ve never been one to give up a pay rise when it is required and deserved, as a strategy consultant or otherwise.
I battled for a while to be promoted from junior strategy consultant to the next rung up, then realised I didn’t like the title that much (and the 4% pay rise made it hardly worth it). It was quite awkward – as a larger guy myself – to hand over a business card with a job title that reads ‘Middle-Weight Strategist’ on it… what does that even mean?!
Ironically I left there just weeks after to become Senior Strategist in Blue Marlin New York. Much more dignified, and now I’m running my own consultancy I set whatever title I like (usually Strategy Consultant, Founder).
Looking back I’ve had some weird job titles…
- Beverage Technician (bar man)
- Sound Enjoyment Engineer (music retail sales guy)
- Marshall (golf fee checker)
- Sponsorship Sales Manager (fresh grad being sold a cold call sales job)
- Change Architect (quirky agency speak for strategist)
- Chief Friend Maker (head of marketing)
- Director of Getting Stuff Done (head of ops)
- Director of first impressions (receptionist / studio manager)
What are the most meaningless job titles you have seen or had? Better still post a photo of the business card!