Your job title is not you

The best job title I ever had was ‘Senior Business Strategist’ for a large law firm. I was a salesman. I never met the Junior Business Strategist, so I guess I was the only one. The only salesman.

Job titles are important to many people. Employers know that, which is why they create ever more exotic titles (software ninja), often to make up for a poor salary.

We spend a large proportion of our time at work, so perhaps it’s not surprising we consider our job as part of who we are.

When 2 people meet for the first time, it doesn’t take long before someone asks ‘what do you do?’

Some people believe their job title confers some sort of standing within their community. A status if you wish. The addition of the word manager/director on the end of an otherwise boring job title, seems to elevate their ego.

Know this: your job is not who you are, it is merely a means of generating income.

Do not make your job part of who you are. It’s smacks of insecurity, low self esteem, and frankly, it’s embarrassing.

It’s NOT embarrassing to tell people you’re a cleaner when the income generated is keeping a family alive – and fxxk anybody who thinks it is! They’re probably the same people who work in HR and put their job title on their LinkedIn profile as ‘Chief People Hugger’.

Living one day as a lion is better than living your whole life as a sheep.

Pizza Delivery - Just One Job Title

A friend of mine is a pizza delivery guy who works 21 hours a week over 3 nights to top up his income. He makes £279 pw (and gets a free supper). He explained that occasionally he delivers to doors of friends who are surprised that ‘he’ is delivering pizzas. When they ask him why, he says ‘I’ve calculated that if I do this for 10 years and invest the extra income, I’ll have almost £200,000 and I’ll be able to retire. What’s your plan?’

I had a retired ex business friend of mine who made little provision for retirement confess he was struggling to make ends meet. When I suggested he work for Sainsbury’s collecting trolleys, his pride stepped in and he said ‘but what if any of my ex customers see me? What will they think?’

The income is the most important part of any job. It’s what you do with the income that creates genuine, worthy pride, and not the job itself.

If you’re providing food and a safe place for your family, THAT’S something to be proud of. If you’re setting a sum aside to provide for an emergency fund or retirement planning, that’s called being responsible and is deserving of praise.

BUT if you’re swanning around in the car that is on HP, and paying for your holidays on a credit card, but fooling yourself into believing the world owes you some respect because your business card carry’s the title CEO (of a company employing one person), then you’re a fraud.

It’s much easier to look wealthy than actually be wealthy.