Whether it’s a long-time employee demanding a promotion, or the CEO’s efforts to keep everyone happy, inflating titles is an easy way out.
Mcdonalds famously calls its HR managers, Chief Happiness Officers.
And in today’s job market and a world of MBA-fied nomenclature, a rubbish collector is a “waste management and disposal technician” rather than a bin man, while subway staff are known as “sandwich artists”.
I bring you some other fancy job titles and their brutally honest (but hilarious) meanings:
Digital & Social Media Strategist: Person with the Facebook/ Instagram Password
CFO: Person in charge for saying NO.
Account Executive (Insurance/ Agency): Lunch bill payer.
Brand Ambassador: Professional Conference Attender
CIO: Director of Turning things off and back on.
Designer: Lead Interpreter of contradictory suggestions/ requirements.
This title worked for a while–until it didn’t. Let’s say you promote Alan, who is your best, and perhaps your only, sales person, into a sales leadership position. It may take you a while to realize that Alan is simply not cutting it as a sales leader. Since Alan is struggling in his new role, you suggest that he take a step back, or that you bring in additional help to lead the sales department. But there’s a problem—Alan has now convinced himself that he is a Head of Sales. He is accustomed to a higher base salary and he enjoys the title, the power, and the prestige that come along with it. He gets recruited away. Your company may even be glad to see him go. Now the headache of having an underqualified, maybe even inept Head of Sales, is someone else’s problem. But the new company is infatuated with the idea of stealing a “key leader” from a competitor. They may even overlook some things in the interview process because this is such an obvious hire. A sales leader from our biggest competitor! What could go wrong?!
When everyone is a chief of some variety, the title starts to lose its meaning.