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The most meaningless (and hilarious) job titles on LinkedIn

The most meaningless (and hilarious) job titles on LinkedIn Josh Dreller


When I was first starting in this business, I looked up with envy at the various VPs and C-level executives with their big fancy titles. In my naiveté, success was heavily tied to going from a coordinator, to a manager, to a supervisor, to a director, and so on all the way up to CEO.


Almost 20 years later, I realize how little those titles mean when I now judge a person's level of success. After meeting plenty of 24-year-old vice presidents of tiny companies -- or even more to the point, very experienced and respected directors -- titles mean much less to me now than they did when I first entered the business world. Now I judge personal success on the excellence of the organization I'm working for, how engaged am I with my day-to-day tasks, and if I'm personally satisfied at the end of the week with the work I'm doing.


The digital industry has thrived being the new kid on the block and shedding legacy ways of doing business. In the early days of digital, the traditional teams joked that you could tell who the digital guy was in the room by who was wearing jeans and had facial jewelry. This trailblazer attitude has certainly extended to the job title forum -- would "guru" be acceptable in any other industry?


Silly job titles are not so silly to the folks behind them. Adam Broitman is currently chief creative strategist of Something Massive. However, when I met him a few years ago, his title was "Partner and Ringleader" at Cir.cus so I thought he'd be perfect to comment on this little quirk of our business.


"I have always felt that it is a bit odd for agencies comprising of three people to have a CEO or managing director -- something about that just seems disingenuous," Broitman said. "Given that fact, the fact the name of the company was Circ.us it just seemed like a good idea to forgo traditional titles. After all, John and I (my partner who was also Ringleader) were ultimately responsible for everything, so no title would have properly captured the essence of what each of us did on a daily basis. On top of all of this, John and I are a bit snarky and while we take our work seriously, life is too short to take things like titles seriously."


To demonstrate this point, the following pages contain 17 real titles pulled from the profiles of marketing industry professionals found on LinkedIn. Enjoy!



Abracadabra


Digital Marketing Magician
There's nothing up his sleeve -- especially not positive ROI.


Wizard of Light Bulb Moments
How many HR directors does it take to fire a "Wizard of Light Bulb Moments"?



Ass-kicking analogies


Marketing Ninja
Don't laugh. He's standing behind you right now ready to pounce with his nunchucks.


Brand Warrior
Okay, I admit I'd be a little intimidated knowing that I was going to have to interview with that lady for a job.


Senior Road Warrior Marketing Intern
I guess it sounds a lot better than "unpaid intern."


The Social Media Badass
These social folks can slap on anything to "social media" and make it a title. (Other titles I came across were Social Media Genie, Social Media Rockstar, Social Media DJ -- even Social Media Vixen! Ooh la la!)



The master mentality


Digital Overlord
This has got to be a creative guy, right? My gut tells me this is definitely a creative guy.


Direct Mail Demi-God
I would think an omnipotent, all-knowing being would have had the sense to get out of traditional media by now.


Mobile Sensei (and Planner)
I like that he added "and planner" to the title. He must have realized the sensei part was confusing.



Enlightened leadership


Chief Visionary Officer
This "vision" is 20/20 when the campaign starts and blind as a bat when it tanks.


Chief Marketing Guru
Personally, I think the "guru" card has been played out. It's just not creative enough for someone who has reached spiritual enlightenment.



Deep thoughts


Chief Thought Provoker
Honestly, this sounds like that smelly guy in the office who doesn't understand why people laugh at the "Battlestar Gallactica" toy set on his desk.


Chief Thinker
Not a lot of thought put into that one. Maybe they're trying to demonstrate that they spend more time thinking about their client's business and less about their title?


Founder, Chief Creative, Inspiration, and Elation Officer
OK, we get it -- you're important. But honestly, it sounds like someone needs a hug.


Chief Instigation Officer
You looking at me? Grrrr...



Random and hilarious


Chief People Herder
Sounds like he could be replaced by a border collie.


Director of Fundom
My personal favorite! I'd love to party with that dude but not really sure if I want him to steward my multi-million dollar marketing budget.


(Disclaimer: No offense to the folks behind these titles, just having some fun.)


Someone who also has experience with this is Bill Furlong, currently VP of business developent at Bizo, and a pioneer in this industry who as seen it all. Furlong points out that generally these funky titles occur more in the start-up world than larger, established companies:


"I have started a few of these [start ups] and thought I was the most creative innovator around when I cooked up a few new titles. When I met an actual Chief Wahoo, and wasn't at a Cleveland baseball game, well, then I knew it went a bit far. And slapping about anything onto [chief] is getting really tired. C'mon -- inflating the perception of the executive or size of company can get pretty obvious. All in all though, let's give the entrepreneurs credit as there's a lot to this title making craft that legacy companies are learning from too."

What are your thoughts on funky titles? Are there any titles that I may have missed? Please weigh in below!


Josh Dreller is senior director of client and industry solutions at Visual IQ.


On Twitter? Follow Josh Dreller at @mediatechguy.


Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.


"Young wizard make euro money," "Funny muscular shaolin monk," "King with crown," "Businessman meditating in lotus pose," "Portrait of a serious young man," "Border collie," and "Photo of energetic business people" images via Shutterstock.

As a media technologist fluent in the use of leading industry systems, Josh Dreller stays abreast of cutting edge digital marketing and measurement tools to maximize the effect of digital media on client goals. He has achieved platform certification...

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Comments

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Commenter: Azizul Yusof

2015, October 04

Fun stuff!

Commenter: Reyn Mansson

2015, February 24

I once made a card that read;
1st Assistant to Ming the Merciless
my boss was not amused

Commenter: Wade Kingston

2015, February 15

This is made my day! Haha!

Commenter: Brianna Stevens

2014, June 24

I like to change titles with my mood. Of course, I work for tiny startups. Most recently, I've been the Duchess of Demand Gen. And now I decided to call myself "Chief Lifehacker." Tomorrow...? You never know. :-)

Commenter: Ryan Connors

2012, December 31

I need a new job title. Henceforth, I shall be know as Apptegic's Marketing Megazord

Commenter: LLoyd Berry

2012, December 21

Jennifer - awesome on the content markers - So you know Imedia Connection is my start page in the every day. So thanks to you and your teams!! This content is no where out of date like you find on some very major sites. Recently I have found articles that come from 2007 and I do recognize that this is not the place to start this debate, but I wonder why the impression on the content from 2007 is worth the same a content from 2012? To me, the value doesn't seem the same - but.... HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALL!!

Commenter: Jennifer Marlo

2012, December 20

Thanks for the feedback, Lloyd. We certainly didn't mean to trick you into eating "cold French fries." Rather, we've historically found that a few days of "Best Of" content toward the end of year has always been appreciated by many of our readers. It's a way for us to share some of our favorite and best-performing pieces of the past year at a time when many in our industry are taking stock and making predictions for the coming years.

Our daily newsletter and social media channels clearly package this piece and other articles as our "Best Of" content for the year. Going forward, we'll try to make sure it's also clearly portrayed as such anywhere else people might access the articles. That way, those who have no interest in previously published pieces can pass over it as such.

Commenter: LLoyd Berry

2012, December 20

Understand – right or wrong two of my pet peeves are "Cold French Fries” (for who wants to spend what you could buy 10lbs of potatoes for and have them cold) – or – OLD CONTENT.

I would think with all people who read this site that maybe some of them would have written for free… or are you saying no ones working during online advertising most important week?

Happy Holidays
>>LL

Commenter: Jennifer Marlo

2012, December 20

Hi Lloyd,

During the holidays we run "best of" content on our site. We will resume our regular daily coverage on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

Thanks for reading!

Jennifer Marlo
Associate Editor

Commenter: LLoyd Berry

2012, December 20

why is there such old content being re-purposed?

Commenter: Robin Bender

2012, December 20

So glad to see people in our industry still have a sense of humor. I always wanted the title, "Direct Marketing Media Queen", but didn't think anyone would take me seriously. Ringleader--just so clever!

Commenter: Chris O'Hara

2012, December 20

Nicely done, Josh. As we used to say in the restaurant business, not every bartender is a mixologist...but every mixologist is a bartender.

Commenter: Robbin Block

2012, August 22

I had wanted to start a list like this, particularly for marketing titles. It's getting ridiculous to the extreme. A label can be useful, but not if it's completely fabricated. The marketers who think their cute titles create differentiation simply don't understand the discipline. If I were hiring someone, I would run the other way.

Titles actually used to mean something and indicated a person's expertise and experience. That all changed around the late 90's with title inflation -- when admins were directly promoted to marketing managers. The practice deflates everyone else. And it creates confusion, especially for people outside of creative professions.

Glad you've covered the subject so thoroughly. Loved the images -- the ninja is my favorite.

Commenter: Joy Gendusa

2012, August 15

Funny... We did have a silly title when we were just starting up - 14 years ago. My now COO was called "One of the main maniacs for sure" on her business card. Today, she does have an Operations Ninja reporting to her. And we're not a start up anymore. Personally I like the creative titles. Why not?

Commenter: Jeffrey Fleischman

2012, August 06

Hey Josh. Very funny article - I've notice how creative people have become in describing their jobs. I understand that people want to express what they do but sometimes it's a bit of stretch.

Commenter: Andrew Ettinger

2012, August 02

Senior director of client and industry solutions. Not just client solutions but solutions for the whole industry too! All joking aside, great article.

Commenter: Joey Dumont

2012, August 01

Hey Josh,

I cannot believe you did not find a title with Pimp in there somewhere...

Nice article!

Joey

Commenter: Jeannie Abraham

2012, August 01

Awesome article, Josh! Thanks for the laughs!

Commenter: Adam Kleinberg

2012, July 31

Josh,

I got a resume the other day that listed "The Grateful Dead" under "Skills & Interests." Wonder how that plays out on LinkedIn.

Adam

Commenter: Denyse Drummond-Dunn

2012, July 31

Thanks for sharing all your "finds", must have taken a while.
I love all these creative titles; they actually suggest to me that we are all longing for recognition and tired of being one of the masses on SM today. This is one of the biggest challenges, and opportunities for brands, to make people feel special.
From the C3C Catalyst ;-)

Commenter: Adam Broitman

2012, July 31

Happy to entertain :)