Why Your Job Title Matters - Agile HR
  • What’s in a Name?

A Job Title Should Reflect the Work

Some job titles are so obscure no one ever truly understands what they mean, why a certain position is named one way, or who has a higher position over whom. That is why job titles are so important in a workplace; they aren’t just a title, they’re a description.

  • – Titles are important in helping other people understand what it is you do; whether these people are your co-workers, potential future employers, or clients looking at using your company for services.
  • – Role clarity is a big deal in this regard as well; if you don’t know what all you are supposed to be in charge of, it may come back to bite later. People may come to you for information that you don’t have because you didn’t know it was your job. Others may expect something to get done, but it doesn’t get done, because you didn’t know it was your job. A job title helps people understand what exactly their role is in the company.
  • – These titles can really help the workplace flow as well; when co-workers understand the hierarchy of an office, or what it is each person does, they will know whom to speak to about certain topics, and whom to seek for help.
  • – A job title generally represents a status as well; the title you hold lets those in and out of the company recognize your rank at the business, and can be helpful for insider communication or finding a future job outside of the current business.
    • ~ It can sometimes be tricky figuring out what different job titles actual mean though, is a “senior” something better than a “vice president” of something? or vice versa? Because there is no universal rule about this it is, instead, up to the business to be consistent. They can choose what different titles mean, as long as the meanings of those titles stays consistent over the years and throughout the company.
    • ~ When businesses stay consistent in this way it is easier for others to figure out the hierarchy of the company, and for prospective job-seekers to better understand what all specific jobs entail.
  • – Titles also help outsiders coming in understand why your job has worth at the company. Oftentimes major businesses will merge with other major businesses to create one amazing company. In these instances, however, many people may lose their job if the big-wigs come in and decide that job as unnecessary. This is where informational job titles are very helpful to those holding the title; they may just save you your position.
  • – Don’t let an uninformative title ruin your future though. The reality is that you just never know quite how long you will be with any one company, and when you decide to look for a job elsewhere, having a previous job title not fully describe your talents can make for a missed opportunity.
  • – Sometimes you may find those that have a very inflated title, meaning that their title indicates they do a lot more for the company than they ever actually do. Inflated titles may seem helpful in the beginning, as people recognize you for more than you really should be able to take credit for, but these incorrect titles only hinder, not help. When others discover your title doesn’t represent your work they lose respect for you. When a potential employer learns that your previous job title describes things that you don’t understand they won’t hire you. So don’t take on a title if you know it doesn’t properly describe what you do at the company.

 

Your Job Title May Not Matter To You; But It Does To Those Hiring You

  • – Job titles are used as a sort of yardstick, they are a measuring tool used by hiring managers and recruiters. And when your job title looks good, you look good.

 

  • – The progression of job titles is also an indication to those hiring that you were able to start on a low level and work you way up through a company through hard work, which shows a great work ethic.

 

  • – Hiring managers typically look for an exact job they are trying to fill; an easy way for them to do this is by using job titles to indicate whether someone has done similar work in the past before or not. Yet another reason that inflated titles are never helpful.

 

So while a job title may only be an ego-booster, morale-stomper, or simply doesn’t even matter to you, having a job title that best describes your abilities, the work you do, your potential, and your status within a company, is actually quite helpful to you and to those around you.

 

Have you noticed the way job titles help or hinder your workplace flow, getting a new job, or understanding others you work with? Tell us your thoughts, comments, or different understandings on the topic. We would love to hear from you in the comments below!