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What’s in a job title anyway?

Careful! This post is looking a little old and could be inaccurate in many, many ways

I’ve had enough jobs in my life to count them all on one hand and in that time I’ve had job titles ranging from simple ‘Crew Member’ to mouth achingly long ‘EMEA Interactive Marketing Development and Reporting Co-ordinator’. On initial viewing the second of course look more important, and although you could argue a job at IBM is better than at McDonalds both placed me firmly at the bottom of the corporate ladder.

But now my email signature reads ‘Senior Web Designer & Developer’ but when asked what I do I will simply reply with ‘Web Designer’, why confuse the situation by bringing in the specifics of my being a developer as well or that as the only designer in my company I am graced with the ‘senior’ role. I’ve never been all that concerned with the job title I have, it has no relation to what I am paid or the role I undertake at Bronco, sure I’d have some issues if my title changed to ‘Office Gimp’ but so long as my job title relates to the work I do I don’t want or need to confuse matters.

Yet the industry as a whole seems to be doing just this, no longer do people work on the web it’s all interactive or new media instead. Or job title’s become more specific with people specialising in UI or UX all of a sudden.

So many of the developments in distinct job titles in our industry seem to be solely for the enjoyment of our industry, whereby the world at large has no idea of what UX is. Most are only just coming to terms with the distinction of designer and developer, if not the web at large.

It’s understandable that in an increasing competitive market people and companies are trying to give themselves an edge by seemingly appearing even more specialised than their counterparts, thus constructing a niche in which they can dominate, or at the very least compete.

Yet for me I think things should just be kept simple, I’m a Web Designer and I work for a Web Design (and Search Marketing) company; something I’m sure most people will instantly recognise and understand.