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How important are job titles to you?

3 years ago from , UX/UI Designer

Is a job title prestigious to you? Do you feel the title rewards you for your qualifications? Or do you think "whatever, I have a job I like and I get paid fair. I don't care about my job title."

What's your opinion on job titles?

10 comments

  • Andrew C, 3 years ago

    If you desire a leadership position at some point in your life the "job titles don't matter" feedback can be limiting. I knew a designer in Silicon Valley that refused the title Design Manager even though he was doing much of that role and was a great designer and mentor. Later when he tried to transfer positions in to a management role his limited resume experience closed a few doors and limited his options to smaller start-ups. The second thing is only Directors, VPs and in big companies SVPs get a voice at the big table—so if you care about design being influential then you'll need to care about titles, too.

    So think about your career path to determine this answer (everyone is individual).

    12 points
  • Lindsey AustinsonLindsey Austinson, 3 years ago

    For me this is one of those "it doesn't matter, until it does" things.

    Personally, I don't really care what my title is as long as it gives some sort of indication of what I do every day. Right now my title is "Senior product designer" which is conceptually very different from say, an "Illustrator" or "Graphic designer". In the past I've had titles like "UX designer" and "Interaction designer" which are also pretty descriptive of the work I do. People I haven't worked with before can get a sense for where I am in our org and what I might know about, because of my title.

    Titles also come with things like salary ranges and portability. I want my title to match and keep up with the work I'm doing so I know I'm being properly compensated. And if it's time to find a new job it'll be easier to transfer to a similar position with a similar title.

    So to more directly answer your question: no, it's not prestigious, or a reward. It's more a reflection of your work and career.

    5 points
  • Duke CavinskiDuke Cavinski, 3 years ago

    The title "senior" seems very arbitrary to me, though some people seem to ask for it, perhaps to justify a pay raise to HR or whatever.

    2 points
  • Peter DeltondoPeter Deltondo, 3 years ago

    They matter and they don't matter.

    Titles shouldn't matter in terms of ego. Ultimately, you want to create awesome work. Whether you're called a Designer, Senior Designer, Craftsman, Ninja, or w/e other stupid titles there are these days, it's irrelevant.

    On the other hand, clients care, and prospective employers care. When I got my first Art Direction & later Creative Director position and change my title, job offers flooded by inbox from other companies. The offers were at better companies, better opportunities, better work, and obviously better pay. Woot.

    Clients also care. Clients like knowing they are dealing with someone who has some muscle at the table. Whether that be Directors, or owners, your close rates on new projects are much higher when those people show up to the meetings. Clients want that love and attention. Meeting with "the Creative Director" holds more weight for them than meeting with "a Designer" on the team. Our close rate is easily 20% higher when the owners make it to the call. Titles matter in this situation.

    Hope that helps.

    1 point
  • Andu PotoracAndu Potorac, 3 years ago

    A job title defines what you do. If you are a "Web Developer", or a "Product Designer", or a "Project Manager" says a world about your tasks. Not only inside the company, but outside the company as well.

    It's not ego, it's normal stuff. Let's not try to oversimplify things that are in their simplest form. And the reverse is also true, let's stop inventing job names like "Caring Angel", when in fact the role is for a Customer Support Agent. People won't search for Caring Angel positions, ok?

    1 point
  • Ferdi WielingFerdi Wieling, 3 years ago

    I tend to agree with most of what has already been said on the topic, but having worked across NA, EMEA and in APAC is that culture is a great influencer as well.

    I remember my stack of business cards collecting dust when I worked in EMEA, whilst I can't get reprints quick enough in Asia. There's ritual involved to that end with doing business in Asia where the exchange of business cards is something you have to get used to if you're not familiar with the ordeal (a quick Google will net you various commandments).

    Whilst the business card in and of itself is a sign of respect, the title printed allows for a great deal to be communicated before a meeting has even started. A bad title can create confusion, or worse, apprehension, making the recipient wonder if they're wasting their time. A good one cuts to the chase and saves time and establishes trust.

    Anecdotally, it tends to remove the need of having to sell yourself based on past experience. Which, coincidentally, I've never found a particularly good way of selling regardless, but that's a different story. Instead, it allows you to focus (in the case of a new business meeting for example) on your ideas and work that are for whomever you're meeting.

    Lastly, on the topic of what could be considered as the allure (and pretence) of the slightly more pompous titles, it seems to be one of these "assets" that once you've got one, you cross it off your bucket list and will forget about it. But I'm wary that with my current official title, which includes more acronyms and random letters than a bad round of Countdown, that may sound like a dirty humble brag.

    0 points
  • Ryan Hicks, 3 years ago

    It's good for ego and resume if you're seeking a specific position in the future. Otherwise just do good work. Your reputation and references will be of better substance in any context.

    0 points
  • Ken Em, 3 years ago

    Irrelevant to me. Job titles are there for ego, IMO. Skill and experience are more important than some made up title.

    0 points
    • James LaneJames Lane, 3 years ago

      Whilst I agree, skill and experience are more important. Getting a good job title can help with your career in future.

      I.e. Personal Driver vs. Chauffeur.

      Remember though, that can land you in some troubled water if you overhype your job role/title on a future CV and they ring your previous employer to find you actually didn't do that.

      0 points