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July 17, 2015updated 17 Oct 2016 11:55am

What’s in a name?

By Guy Clapperton

One of my favourite things is collecting some of the silly job titles people give themselves when they’re trying to liven their lives up. This doesn’t apply to one of my all time favourites, a “chief envisioning officer” I know who says on his Twitter profile that he’s “head of silly job titles” – but seriously, so often people will say anything other than what they actually do.

I’ve seen “people person” instead of HR director – in fact I saw “mother hen” at one stage, although they had to change that when she was replaced by a bloke. “Technology evangelist” I usually classify as “something in marketing and we’d like technology in the title”, and a few years back every time you hooked up with someone on Twitter their job would be “engagement and communication” or “social media” – it was news to me that these were job titles at all.

Best of all was the time I met someone who introduced themselves as a “distinguished engineer”. I thought they were just boasting but there it was on their job title, distinguished engineer. Sadly this was before the days of el cheapo stationery, or I’d have had a whole load of cards made out saying I was a “nondescript hack” immediately.

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