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anonguest

Pretentious Job Titles

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Why is that when one reaches a certain height up a corporate ladder that not only do job titles become increasingly pretentious and descriptively vague but that, when asked, job holders themselves become increasingly vague in answering what they actually do?!

To use a most recent personally experienced example of the sort observed many times before....

In a social setting I congratulate an old acquaintance of many years on hearing they had a new job - and then ask about it.

"Oh, I'm with XYZ plc"  

"Ahh OK. But.... that doesn't tell me what you do any more than saying 'I'm with British Airways'. What is it you actually do?"

"I'm a Managing Partner" (or often, in the case of U.S companies) "I'm a vice-president"

"Sounds good......But you're still not telling me anything at all about what you typically do. What is it you actually do for a living? And, out of curiosity, how does a Managing Partner differ from being just a plain old 'Partner', as in partner in a law firm or medical practice? Aren't all business partners in effect 'managers' of the firm they work for?"

Then they will try and deflect you and fob you off with giving a description of what their firm does. But even that is dressed up to such an extent that you're still not 100% clear what the 'bread and butter' of what their firm does. Often they'll do this by verbatim quoting of the company's glossy 'mission statement' - that takes a lot of effort to parse and understand.

Then, after eventually learning what are the main services or product that company produces.....

"Oh. Sounds interesting! So....what is it that YOU actually do?"

Eventually, after a lonnnng walk around the houses, you are given enough information to understand that, when stripped of all pretentiousness and embellishment, that said person is in effect a salesman. A very high level and high paid salesman to be sure. But still just a salesman. In a similar way to, say, Prince Andrew or David Cameron (especially after leaving office) spend their time 'flogging' stuff to people with lots of money.

"So you're in sales? Nothing wrong with that!"

At which point you get an aghast look as if you have somehow seriously insulted them and they protest. 

The whole thing, just to get a straight answer, is exasperating.

Anyone else ever notice or experienced this?

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3 hours ago, anonguest said:

how does a Managing Partner differ from being just a plain old 'Partner', as in partner in a law firm or medical practice?

Quite a large difference. 'Plain' Partners just engage with clients and see to the actual business of the Firm. Managing Partners mostly withdraw from client-facing work and concentrate on managing the business and the Partnership itself (like a CEO would).

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58 minutes ago, Errol said:

Quite a large difference. 'Plain' Partners just engage with clients and see to the actual business of the Firm. Managing Partners mostly withdraw from client-facing work and concentrate on managing the business and the Partnership itself (like a CEO would).

OK. Interesting factoid to learn. So I'll give 'em that bit wasn't 'decorative title' fluff. 

That said, there tends to be this economy with words when these types answer such enquiries.

So, for example, they'll say they're "with Goldman Sachs"  or whatever and need to be pressed on the job title/description, rather than just say from the outset "I'm Managing Partner at XYZ plc", etc.  Or at least that's what I seem to observe.

The main gist of the thread stands though, i.e. never seemingly describe in plain english what they do compared to say a lesser mortal such as an airline pilot, univeristy professor, social worker for children with learning disabilities, etc.

I do definitely think the U.S business title of 'Vice President' is certainly devalued through it's excessive use.

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20 minutes ago, RentingForever said:

My boss luxuriates in the title "Director of Knowledge".

All knowledge reports to him!

Oh yes indeed.  That's similar to a title I was told of recently, by the proud owner, that of 'Thought Leadership for Eastern Europe'!

Needless to say when I asked for an elaboration of what the role entailed I was fed a load of pretentious guff.

Their goal was to get promoted to 'Global Thought Leadership'.  ROFL

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....they can give any fancy title they like, call themselves anything they like, better names do not mean they are better people or even better at doing their jobs.....not what they are, but who they are.

....important sounding names are often given out in replacement of paying more....makes people feel more valued/important.;)

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1- pretentious title + opaque responsibilities = overpaid blagger

2- pretentious title + broad responsibilities + not from here = patsy for the skeletons in the closet that are about to fall out

3- clear and lowly title + clear tasks and role = underpaid unappreciated worker who actually generates company value

 

Its best to be 1. Its ok to be 2 as long as you can avoid prison and get a golden parachute for taking a hit for the team. If you're 3... there's a big L on your forehead!

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9 hours ago, hayder said:

1- pretentious title + opaque responsibilities = overpaid blagger

2- pretentious title + broad responsibilities + not from here = patsy for the skeletons in the closet that are about to fall out

3- clear and lowly title + clear tasks and role = underpaid unappreciated worker who actually generates company value

 

Its best to be 1. Its ok to be 2 as long as you can avoid prison and get a golden parachute for taking a hit for the team. If you're 3... there's a big L on your forehead!

Spot on IMHO. That's pretty much articulates the general feeling behind my posting this thread. Great summary list including 2. and 3.

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Product Managers... wwwhat?

Principle Talent Acquisition consultant...

Director of Strategy and Delivery, as opposed to the Director of Delivery and Strategy...

Love being back in the private sector...

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2 hours ago, PopGun said:

Product Managers... wwwhat?

Principle Talent Acquisition consultant...

Director of Strategy and Delivery, as opposed to the Director of Delivery and Strategy...

Love being back in the private sector...

Do you work for the same company as me, we have all of those :)

Me, I'm a product manager - of the list you gave Product Manager is by far the best defined. If you type it into google, you'll find loads that all pretty much says the same thing. If I had to define it in a sentence it would be along the lines of 'I stop the sales team doing stupid things'.

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It seems that it's no longer acceptable to say 'I work in computers', presumably the bored response was too much for some IT professionals. Then they started stealing names from the construction industry in an attempt to appear interesting. :D I'm a Project manager, i'm an Architect etc.. the ultimate though was a job title to be envious of - 'Webmaster'. I know we have a lot of these people as forum members. Please confirm your job title as below..! Or keep us up to date with the new ones.

Information Technology (IT) Job Titles

The following is a list of job titles for IT positions, including those listed above.

A - D

  • Application Developer
  • Application Support Analyst
  • Applications Engineer
  • Associate Developer
  • Chief Information Officer (CIO) 
  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO) 
  • Cloud Architect
  • Cloud Consultant
  • Cloud Product and Project Manager
  • Cloud Services Developer
  • Cloud Software and Network Engineer
  • Cloud System Administrator
  • Cloud System Engineer
  • Computer and Information Research Scientist
  • Computer and Information Systems Manager
  • Computer Network Architect
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Computer Systems Manager
  • Customer Support Administrator
  • Customer Support Specialist
  • Data Center Support Specialist
  • Data Quality Manager
  • Database Administrator
  • Desktop Support Manager
  • Desktop Support Specialist
  • Developer
  • Director of Technology

E - N

  • Front End Developer
  • Help Desk Specialist
  • Help Desk Technician
  • IT Analyst
  • IT Coordinator
  • IT Director
  • IT Manager
  • IT Support Manager
  • IT Support Specialist
  • IT Systems Administrator
  • Java Developer
  • Junior Software Engineer
  • Management Information Systems Director
  • .NET Developer
  • Network Administrator
  • Network Architect
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator
  • Network Engineer
  • Network Systems Administrator

P - S

  • Programmer
  • Programmer Analyst
  • Security Specialist
  • Senior Applications Engineer
  • Senior Database Administrator
  • Senior Network Architect
  • Senior Network Engineer
  • Senior Network System Administrator
  • Senior Programmer
  • Senior Programmer Analyst
  • Senior Security Specialist
  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Senior Support Specialist
  • Senior System Administrator
  • Senior System Analyst
  • Senior System Architect
  • Senior System Designer
  • Senior Systems Analyst
  • Senior Systems Software Engineer
  • Senior Web Administrator
  • Senior Web Developer
  • Software Architect
  • Software Developer
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Quality Assurance Analyst
  • Support Specialist
  • System Architect
  • Systems Administrator
  • Systems Analyst
  • Systems Designer
  • Systems Software Engineer

T - Z

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I find a correlation to those who actively use their titles vs effectiveness and productivity.  It's an inverse correlation.  Boy do I have fun running over those with titles, regardless :-)

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1 hour ago, blackhole said:

I find a correlation to those who actively use their titles vs effectiveness and productivity.  It's an inverse correlation.  Boy do I have fun running over those with titles, regardless :-)

Yeah, course you do. In my experience, anyone claiming that they 'run over' people at work, or similar words to the same effect usually:

A) doesnt, and

B) spends most of their time at work being avoided

Go on, what is it you do?

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Ah go on, ill bite.  If I don't "run over" these types, i'm not making progress.  Then there's really not much point of me being there.

so its c) making progress.

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2 hours ago, blackhole said:

Ah go on, ill bite.  If I don't "run over" these types, i'm not making progress.  Then there's really not much point of me being there.

so its c) making progress.

Of course it is. 

I noticed you never actually mention what it is you do. You know, if you can't sum up what you do in a sentence....

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On 2/10/2018 at 12:17 PM, frankief said:

It seems that it's no longer acceptable to say 'I work in computers', presumably the bored response was too much for some IT professionals. Then they started stealing names from the construction industry in an attempt to appear interesting. :D I'm a Project manager, i'm an Architect etc.. the ultimate though was a job title to be envious of - 'Webmaster'. I know we have a lot of these people as forum members. Please confirm your job title as below..! Or keep us up to date with the new ones.

Information Technology (IT) Job Titles

The following is a list of job titles for IT positions, including those listed above.

A - D

  • Application Developer
  • Application Support Analyst
  • Applications Engineer
  • Associate Developer
  • Chief Information Officer (CIO) 
  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO) 
  • Cloud Architect
  • Cloud Consultant
  • Cloud Product and Project Manager
  • Cloud Services Developer
  • Cloud Software and Network Engineer
  • Cloud System Administrator
  • Cloud System Engineer
  • Computer and Information Research Scientist
  • Computer and Information Systems Manager
  • Computer Network Architect
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Computer Systems Manager
  • Customer Support Administrator
  • Customer Support Specialist
  • Data Center Support Specialist
  • Data Quality Manager
  • Database Administrator
  • Desktop Support Manager
  • Desktop Support Specialist
  • Developer
  • Director of Technology

E - N

  • Front End Developer
  • Help Desk Specialist
  • Help Desk Technician
  • IT Analyst
  • IT Coordinator
  • IT Director
  • IT Manager
  • IT Support Manager
  • IT Support Specialist
  • IT Systems Administrator
  • Java Developer
  • Junior Software Engineer
  • Management Information Systems Director
  • .NET Developer
  • Network Administrator
  • Network Architect
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator
  • Network Engineer
  • Network Systems Administrator

P - S

  • Programmer
  • Programmer Analyst
  • Security Specialist
  • Senior Applications Engineer
  • Senior Database Administrator
  • Senior Network Architect
  • Senior Network Engineer
  • Senior Network System Administrator
  • Senior Programmer
  • Senior Programmer Analyst
  • Senior Security Specialist
  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Senior Support Specialist
  • Senior System Administrator
  • Senior System Analyst
  • Senior System Architect
  • Senior System Designer
  • Senior Systems Analyst
  • Senior Systems Software Engineer
  • Senior Web Administrator
  • Senior Web Developer
  • Software Architect
  • Software Developer
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Quality Assurance Analyst
  • Support Specialist
  • System Architect
  • Systems Administrator
  • Systems Analyst
  • Systems Designer
  • Systems Software Engineer

T - Z

switch it off and on again and half of those jobs will go 

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On 10/02/2018 at 11:12 AM, frozen_out said:

Do you work for the same company as me, we have all of those :)

Me, I'm a product manager - of the list you gave Product Manager is by far the best defined. If you type it into google, you'll find loads that all pretty much says the same thing. If I had to define it in a sentence it would be along the lines of 'I stop the sales team doing stupid things'.

Has this company being supporting healthcare professionals for nearly 150 years by any chance?

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