What Does Your Job Title Really Mean?

In an increasingly competitive business world, companies are trying all they can to attract the best talent. And today, as they try to find a way to offset shitty pay and meager benefits, many have turned to a new selling point aimed right at your fragile ego: vague yet ridiculous job titles. Today Shameless is revealing the truth behind your business card while helping you make your resume as zhuangbi as possible. 

1. Coordinator

Simple. You coordinate stuff. Whether it’s grabbing Starbucks takeout, printing documents, or arranging food delivery, you just straight up coordinate. Usually, you receive this title after six months as a lowly intern, but don’t be fooled. Your title is the only thing that’s changed.

2. Executive

The title “executive” is one of the biggest hoaxes a company can pull, and in China, PR agencies have it down to a science. In the good old days, an executive used to be someone in a high-level management position (You know – someone with actual power and decision-making ability). Today, however, it’s simply used to describe someone who executes menial tasks. Your HR may argue that the title indicates a clear career path, but the real problem for you is — how to maintain an “executive lifestyle” on 4000 RMB per month?

3. Consultant

People consider consulting to be a really fancy job, because consultants always act like experts while giving big companies strategic advice. However, in reality, most consultants spend their day digging for answers on Google while making PPTs that turn the so-called insight into the so-called action. Their clients seldom come to them for actual advice, and if they do, it’s still about PPT hacks.

4. Specialist

“Hey, who’s that intern in the corner who happens to know Photoshop? Oh… that Frank something… We need someone on this new project pitch to make some graphics. It’s really urgent, so let’s give him a formal title. Hmm… how about Digital Specialist?” 

5. Senior Associate

This is another confusing term overused by PR agencies, consultancies, and law firms, and is a title that can literally mean anything from entry level to one level below VP or Partner, depending on the firm’s corporate hierarchy. Asking senior associates to describe their job responsibilities won’t clarify the situation, however, because no matter the industry, they always “lead”, “manage”, “retain”, and “optimize”.

6. Brand Warrior, Marketing Maven, and Social Media Guru

These titles are often employed by digital marketers trying too hard to stand out in an increasingly crowded sea of “SEO specialists”. For them, the title is all-important, and forms a key element of their business card, in itself a key “touchpoint” in the “brand engagement loop”. Similar titles include Digital Prophet, Marketing Superhero, and Social Rock Star. In reality, however, these people hold jobs that are as ambiguous as their titles. An “extremely credible source” has told Shameless that 98% of these people don’t know what they are doing, while another 65% don’t actually have jobs.

7. Product Jedi, Growth Hacker, and Tech Support Ninja

Leave it to the nerds at Silicon Valley to create titles that make coding seem like some sort of magic. But in this case, it’s really only magic if someone can resist saying the word “disruption” for more than 3 minutes. And so, next time you look around and see a room full of “Coding Unicorns”, “Full Stack Wizards”, “Data Guerrillas”, and “QA Czars”, I’m sorry to say you’re not at Hogwarts. You’re at a start-up incubator.

8. Influencer, Innovator, and Thought Provoker

Last but not least, these are the most pretentious titles you’ll ever see in press releases, TV shows, and social media columns. Usually bestowed upon an individual by the public or his/her PR team, they do little more than tell the world how rich and/or successful someone is. But, regardless of where the title comes from, one thing is always true: anyone choosing to wear the crown always gets one more title added to the list – Douchebag. 


Thanks for reading!

What’s your job title?

Leave a comment below!

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