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“Sales Ninja” or “Product Evangelist” – Do we need a dressed-up job title to feel better about work

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Image: Silicon Valley/ HBO

Happy Monday, rockstars. With job titles like “Wizard” and “Ninja” gaining traction, one can’t help wonder, is it the title or the workplace environment that inspires a motivated worker?

 

 

Meh, it’s Monday. The time to carry yourself to work and hope that the day will go quickly. Maybe you even updated your status to let people know that your malaise is due to not remembering how the days of the week work, “Ughhh monday”, only to have friends follow up with support, writing comments like “I know hun, but it will be wine o’clock before you know it! lol”.

How do CEOs jolt their workers out of this cycle, and get them excited about their jobs? Sure, they don’t own the company but surely they should feel excited about being part of such an exciting dynamic company, even if it’s just a local suburban accounting firm. If you are like the new rise in motivational CEOs you may start swapping job titles for descriptive names. If your sales director is now given a business card that calls him a “Sales Ninja”, or your account managers are now called “product evangelists”, surely there will be some sense of renewed sense of excitement.

According to Indeed.com, the rise of dressed up job titles include the top five most popular:

  1. Rockstar
  2. Genius
  3. Guru
  4. Wizard
  5. Ninja

As in, Receptionist Wizard. Could that be anymore depressing? It’s almost like changing your Facebook title to “CEO of the household” when you are a stay at home mum. No need, we get it, you’re the boss at home etc.

This isn’t a synopsis for an episode of The Office, this is actually real life. In 2018, roles which better reflect a company culture and in particular, their dedication to being seen as progressive, is important for the HR team. Salesforce in August talked about launching an ethical and humane approach which saw their revenues lift by as much as 27%, with the role of “Chief Ethics Officer” being one of the strategic initiatives. Similarly, roles like “Front office Rockstar” are becoming increasingly popular, with over 3,846 jobs holding the title “Rockstar” on Indeed.com. Indeed have even shown that there is a rise in popularity of names such as “Rockstar”, “Genius”, “Guru”, “Wizard” and “Ninja” starting all the way back in 2016. Some companies even have a “Happiness Engineer”, with Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway saying, “Most people spend a significant part of their week at work so it’s good to see an employer thinking about ways to make their working experience more pleasant.”

The question remains however, is this just covering up a dull job for the sake of a bit of “kooky PR”, or is it signalling a new way forward where people are actually far more excited about their work lives. It really depends on the culture and the mission of the company, when you consider that stats from Silicon Valley indicate a high job satisfaction (96%) but equally high stress (44%).

It is obvious that a dressed up job title should indicate a company innovating their way into a sustainable future – slapping “Wizard” onto a business card won’t inspire staff in a boring and stagnant environment. The key takeaways from this move should be more around better understanding what it takes to actually ensure staff feel committed and dedicated to a role, and that has less to do with titles and more to do with their environment. Maybe the real job title change should be that of CEO, as Chief EXCITEMENT Officer! Not even trying to do a schtick here, that is already a thing too. Meh, Monday.

 

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