Hi, my name is Amber Jewell. I’m the Duchess of Flow at BigPromotions.
When I introduce myself with my job title, I typically get one of two reactions:
“Um, are you serious?” *stares while judging me*
“Ha! I love your job title! Have a great day, Your Highness!”
In all honesty, the second reaction is the one that I receive most often. But I recently got a much harsher version of the first one and, while it wasn’t the first time, it still rubbed me the wrong way. Some people don’t even know that creative job titles are a real thing, but most who do are extremely opinionated. They either think that these crazy titles are all absolutely awesome or they find them to be entirely unprofessional. Maybe you’re considering this fun and quirky way to put a spring in the step of your brand. If that’s the case, I’m here to give you some thoughts to consider…
- Community: People love being able to show their individuality. When employees are allowed to create their own job titles, they show just a little bit about themselves. Being able to see the tidbits of your team can allow you to create a thriving workplace community.
- Progressive image: When a company has fun titles for its employees, other people will often see the company as forward-thinking. This can land major partnerships with other companies or donors, as well as increase the desire in others to work for you.
- Representation: Sometimes, these eye-catching titles can be a way to specifically represent the brand, which can create more engagement. For example, Seth Goldman of Honest Tea is the Co-Founder and TeaEO Emeritus.
- General confusion: Some companies require a more self-explanatory title than Digital Overlord. On two different occasions – one of which was me trying to lease an apartment – I had to pick a “normal” job title on the spot that allowed them to know what I actually did for a living.
- Judgement: People WILL judge. That’s just the way the world works. Whether it’s simply because a worker has a new and different title or they don’t like the one that she picked, some people are jerks. Unique job titles can be just another piece of ammunition.
- Titles for positions instead of people: If the company’s Problem Wrangler (Human Resources rep) gets promoted to Employee Czar (HR manager), he may feel like a Russian emperor controlling the employees isn’t exactly the image he wants to portray – especially to the employees.
A final consideration is your employees’ opinions. Are you trying to force them in one direction or another? Take the time to do a casual poll and see how they feel about the potential of unleashing their creativity in the workplace. Ultimately, though, it comes down to what works best for your brand and your company as a whole. Make sure that your decision reflects the image and values that are embodied by your company. Eccentric brands give a fun vibe when the person answering the phone is the Master of First Impressions. Then again, those with a strict professional branding won’t be taken very seriously when the IT support person is the Director of Ethical Hacking. Being mindful of your image as a whole should truly be the deciding factor.