While I was at a conference, I met someone from Apple. When he handed me his card, I knew we would have a great conversation. His title was "Senior Armageddon Avoidance Engineer."
I could have been in the middle of talking to three hot prospects, and I would have put all those conversations on hold to talk directly to this guy.
I met someone else at the same conference with the title "Customer Service Specialist." While I was genuinely interested in doing business with his company, after the conference I couldn't remember this guy's name, or his title, or his company. I had to sift through my business cards to find him.
“Oh, yeah, the generic guy."
What kind of impression do you want to leave with your job title?
What’s Your Superpower?
Your job title should not only get attention, it should reflect your personality. This is an opportunity to be creative about defining yourself.
What kind of real-world or historical occupations are a super-version of the things you do, or the way that you do them?
Anyone with a keyboard can be a “Data Entry Specialist." But the same person is perceived very differently when she calls herself a “Spreadsheet Queen."
You don’t have to just be a “Customer Service Representative." You can be a “Happiness Engineer," or an “Excellence Technician."
Identify your unique superpower and how your work directly benefits the customer. Add those together to get your new, memorable job title!
Don’t go over the top, but go close to it.
Having a job title like “Godzilla Kong" would certainly be unique, but it wouldn’t convey what your position is, or imply what you do. (Unless you work in citywide demolition. If that’s your job, “Godzilla Kong" is a go.)
While you’re brainstorming job titles, go way over the top. Get ludicrous. Write down fifty arrogant job titles, and somewhere in the 30s or 40s, you’ll hit on a word or phrase that is just crazy enough to be interesting, but still serious enough to show you get things done.
6 Job Title Brainstorming Tips
1. What words describe the benefit that you provide to the customer? Make a list. Think of emotions and actions.
2. What outlandish occupations describe your working style? Are you a Ninja, a Cheerleader, or a Reigning Overlord?
3. Write down a list of the 50 craziest job titles you can think of. Ask your funniest friend to help you.
4. Cross off the ones you'd be embarrassed to have on your LinkedIn profile.
5. If you're in legal services or insurance, it may behoove you to rein it in a bit more than a motorcyle salesperson or a software rep.
6. Say it out loud over the course of a week. Test it out on a few new contacts. If it still feels right after a week or or two, it's time to put it in print. Armageddon avoided.