Have you been uptitled recently? Has anyone in your office? In these straitened times, with less money available for pay rises, bosses are hoping that an upgrade in job title will mollify their workers almost as much as a increase in salary.
Receptionists suddenly become Heads of Verbal Communications. Staff in call centres become Client Liaison Officers. Secretaries become Executive Assistants. Hell, even the tea boy could be upgraded to Office Refreshment Coordinator.
From a financial perspective, uptitling is appealing to employers, as rather than having to increase somebody’s pay, all they have to do is get a new set of business cards printed out, if at all. Employees will feel validated by their new “seniority” and maybe won’t pester their bosses for a raise for a little longer. But for those outside an organisation, uptitling can lead to confusion over exactly how senior the person you’re dealing with is, and what they can actually get done.
Nevertheless, there are some workers who are happy to be uptitled. With a new job description on their business card, they can make themselves seem more important than they actually are when they’re networking, which could come in useful if they’re ever buffing up their CV looking for a new job. Suddenly, I have insight into how incompetent fools end up running corporations.
I generally have trouble distilling what I do for a living into an easy soundbite, because I do so many things. “Freelancer” is far too vague, while “Jill of All Trades” sounds too much like the kind of person who would try to sell you a questionable second-hand car. This is why I don’t have any business cards and why my LinkedIn profile is such a mess. I’m just thankful I don’t have a boss, because I’m hardly likely to uptitle myself, am I?
[Image by Unstruc]