Your job title is not what you do

I had lunch with a friend this week. She is in a bit of a career lull and wanted to get my opinion on what options she had.

First, I applauded her efforts and not just because I make my living helping people get new jobs. I cheered her on because looking for a job when you have a job is really hard but really necessary.  We cannot take for granted that our jobs will still be there tomorrow or that our employers will look out for our best interests.

So we have to take the bull by the horns and do it ourselves.

I started off by asking her a simple question: what do you do?  She rhymed off her job title. I rolled my eyes.

A job title is pretty meaningless outside of your own organization. It does not give any indication of scope, scale or responsibility. You could be a director and look after 200 people or you could be a director and look after 2000 people

By the time dessert rolled around, we had distilled her job into a lovely sound bite that could universally understand. It was fantastic.

Now she has a solid way to introduce herself and her skills to new people.

Try it when you have a few minutes. Think about the essence of what you do and how to describe it to a knowledgeable business person outside your industry.  No acronyms.  No slang.  No buzzwords. Use only real, meaningful words.

For example, here’s what I do:   I listen to my clients problems and then go out to the market to find the people who can fix those problems.

So, what do you do?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Your job title is not what you do

  1. Patricia Meehan

    Good idea, thanks! Warren Buffett apparently writes so his sisters can understand, and I always describe my job so my kids can understand.

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