Confession time – I’m a bit of a language nerd. The subtle differences between two similar words can change the tone of a message, overuse of a word can strip it of its original value, and sloppy phrasing can change the intended meaning of a statement. For example, how often have you heard someone say something like, “everyone doesn’t have to attend the training meeting”, when what they really meant was, “not everyone has to attend the training meeting”? See what I mean? Words matter. Phrasing matters.
It’s particularly important to choose words carefully in business writing. If we’re not communicating clearly, completely, and concisely our messages will be misunderstood or ignored. No amount of product development or customer service initiatives will make up for poor communication. This is true not only for organizations, but for individuals as well. Personal branding has never been more important than it is right now, and I believe your job title is the first rung of the professional profile ladder.
Have you ever really looked at your job title and considered what it says about you? Are you a director, manager, or coordinator? If so, does your title communicate what you direct, manage, or coordinate? Does your title include trendy words like ninja, sherpa, guru, or maven? Those words send a message, but it may not be the one you were hoping to send. Assuming that you have some influence in choosing your job title, my recommendation is to clearly state what you actually do in words that prospects or recruiters will use to search for people in your field. Has anyone ever really searched LinkedIn for a sherpa? I know I haven’t.
Do you pay attention to job titles? What are some of the most descriptive or effective titles you’ve heard? And what are some of the least?
Liz Marx | Owner/Strategist