Job Titles Are Arbitrary

Here’s what matters more

When I moved to New York, I didn’t really know what my career would look like. I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to work in fashion. As luck would have it, I got to work in fashion and write. During New York Fashion Week, I would go backstage to chat with makeup artists, dash to the front-of-house and secure a spot in the pit, photograph the show and then run to my office to quickly edit my images and write a recap of whatever collection I had just seen. I would talk with someone in Interview Magazine’s PR department about securing coverage on their website about this blog I was writing for. I produced video content by visiting the set of Project Runway to interview guest judges like Nicole Scherzinger (diva) and Garance Doré (not a diva) and then work with an editor on how to best bring them to life.

My job title at the time was Social Media Manager. For years, my job title was Social Media Manager. Nothing more, nothing less. Even still, I always did so much more than just social media. I created content that would connect with an online audience outside of just Facebook and Twitter.

My point is that job titles are completely arbitrary.

job employment titles

What matters more are your responsibilities and compensation. Did I want to advance past the title I currently had? Of course I did. Early on in my career, I learned (thanks to Oprah) that everything is temporary. Whatever moment you are in right now is temporary. Embrace it, try to learn while you’re in it and before you know it, you’ll be in a completely different moment. That goes for your career and your life in general.

Yesterday, I was a Social Media Manager. Today, I am a Senior Manager. In time, I’ll be a Director. A Vice President. One day, I’ll be in charge of my own brand and will need to hire a team of managers, directors, etc. So I’m not tripping over my title today. I’m trying to learn what I can so I’m prepared for when that next step presents itself.

I see people get so caught up in trying to secure a higher title that they don’t realize it’s completely hollow! They want it to look good on their resume or LinkedIn, right? But they might not even have the experience or maturity needed for the title they’re looking to step into. There’s so much impatience when it comes to learning and developing. Everyone wants to be the CEO before ever learning what being the CEO means.

I’m in a great moment of learning myself. Familiar title but completely new version of what it means. Now, I’m responsible for more than just managing content. I’m responsible for managing people. That. Ain’t. Easy. The key, I think, is to stay open so that I can take in what’s around me and get better at handling any curveballs that might come my way.

Right? I don’t know. If you have any suggestions, I’d actually love to hear them.

PS: tomorrow, I’m kicking off a new topic to focus on for the week! Bye-bye work/career topics. Hello LIFE.

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