I looked at it a bit strangely and I think she sensed my confusion and said, “I thought you might like my card.” To which I replied, “I already have all of your info (heck, we did set up the lunch apt) and we are connected on LinkedIn, so I think I am good.
At this point I sensed that she was expecting my card so I pulled it out and set it on the table. She glanced on it and said, “What’s your job title? Your card doesn’t have a title.” *Insert long silence. This made me take a step back and ponder a few things:
- Why does it matter?
- Is this a generational thing? (We are about 20 years different in age)
- How will I come up with a job title that fits all the things I do?
For me I haven’t had a job title on my card in years. I guess there are a few reasons for this:
We are a small company and I wear lots of different hats. In his Fortune blog, Scott Olster talks about going into start-ups and not finding titles because everybody is just working to build the company. Usually in this environment the egos are left outside because the idea of building something is bigger than the job title. Some of my hats include:
Ginger – AKA the VXSuite Travel Agent – One of the things I like to do (and am pretty good at it if I do say so myself) is book travel. I book flights, cars and hotel rooms for my team. I am frugal (which my CFO loves) and because I have traveled a fair share I get there are very important things to consider when booking travel:
- You should be able to get just about anywhere on two flights – three just sucks.
- You shouldn’t spend an hour in a rental car line – we love National Rental Car’s Emerald Aisle for ease of use. And sometimes you might end up with a red VW Bug or a Kermit The Frog green Mustang, just for fun.
- There is no better service for booking hotel rooms than hotels.com. Seriously – they ROCK!
Trainer – I have been with the VXTracker product for nine years and love it. I love teaching people how to use it and providing them examples of how other customers use it, so I lead User and Admin training classes. Plus – it lets me hear from customers and talk to new people.
Channel Manager – I was a channel manager for about a year a couple years ago. I still have a couple of our partners, but most have been transitioned to Kurt or Ron.
I am frugal (Did I mention my CFO loves me for that?) so the idea of printing new cards every time my job title changes seems silly to me. My contact info is the same, so why do I need new cards?
I love what I get to do every day and I am not looking for a new job. For me this is really the bottom line. The reason job titles matter is when you are looking for a new job. Adam Dachis details this on the lifehacker blog. He talks about asking for a title raise and continually raising the bar.
Maybe if I was a title person I’d think up a creative title. Maybe Queen of Content or Word Goddess. Erica Swallow talks about Creative Job Titles in her Mashable blog. There are pros and cons to creative job titles. People actually use things like Rockstar and Ninja in their titles. She asked a number of HR Pros their opinions and it comes down to a big, “It Depends.” Some industries and professions it works for – but she says (and I agree) there should NEVER be a Chief Playtime Officer.
Do you have a creative job title? Do you care what your job title is (assuming you are paid fairly for your work)? Do you collect business cards when you meet people? What do you do with them once they are in your computer and connected with you in some way?