First off, we want to make it clear that we think LinkedIn is actually an underutilized and underappreciated platform for businesses. It offers a wealth of ideas, a plethora of incredibly talented people, and a professional way to stay up-to-date on current events without cat pictures and racists posts from your second-uncle-twice removed.
It’s also a laughable place for people who desperately need a friend to tell them to cool it.
When I worked at a bike shop, I termed myself as the International Relations Officer. If it made anyone think I was doing more for the company than sweeping the floors and breaking down cardboard boxes to extremely small dimensions, then maybe these titles do work. But I’ve got a sneaking suspicion they aren’t fooling anybody.
We don’t know when it became acceptable to refer to yourself as a ‘thought leader’, but we have a good feeling it happened about the same time people started taking selfies and explaining their workout routines to ‘followers’. LinkedIn has become a hotbed of self-proclaimed somethings that have changed traditional job titles into the business-world equivalent of yoga babble.
There is value in looking at how your role and position influence how you see yourself and shape your attitude. But there’s also a point where even the most dedicated, earnest, and motivated among us simply jump the shark.
Just as the world has blurred into a real-life version of Idiocracy, LinkedIn job titles are now indistinguishable from random job title generators like these.
We spent a few minutes looking up the world job titles we could find on LinkedIn, then a long, long time trying to figure out what these people actually did.
Chief Troublemaker – Real adults purposely call themselves this. Successful adults. Influential adults. Adults whose decisions impact the health and livelihoods of people around them. What do you do? The title conjures an image of a toddler who has broken into the pantry and spilled some flour and perhaps overturned a bag of rice.
Herder of Cats – Remember those Cathy cartoons? Yeah, she would call herself that. Is your organization so unprofessional, whimsical, and disorganized all you do is try to huddle the kindergartners back in line after a field trip?
Marketing Ninja – That’s not a real thing. Marketing, real. Ninjas, rare, and cool, but real. There is no such thing as a marketing ninja.
Business Alchemist – The only cool alchemy was in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and you aren’t Jose Arcadio, and this isn’t Macondo.
Any Title That Includes ‘Jedi’ – Nope. Obi-Wan Kenobi never made Anakin and the Jedi Council sit through a forty-five minute PowerPoint presentation on a cost-benefit analysis of buying a new fax machine.
What LinkedIn job titles have made your eyes roll right out of your head? Share them with us!