What’s in a Name?
Posted on August 15, 2011 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
Everyone working has one. Our salaries and status in an organization depend on them. They may significantly influence our self-identity. So, what could possibly be this powerful? I’m talking about job titles.
An employee’s job title is a very important part of his or her identity at an organization. Recent studies have found that organizations are beginning to be more creative in labeling job positions. For example, a sandwich artist is now being identified as a customer service agent. Organizations have wised up in recognizing the importance a job title holds to the employee. However, organizations must take caution when labeling job positions. Inflating job titles can be end up backfiring at the organization and cause more problems.
A job title serves as a label for a particular position. The job title serves to identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities, and responsibilities of the position with a short title. When an organization over emphasizes what a position entails, the organization is walking a fine line between lying and telling the truth.
While it is important for job titles to be updated as frequently as the organization sees fit, the organization should be careful when doing so. Over time, jobs change and therefore the title should change as well. One of the best ways an organization can ensure accuracy is to conduct a job analysis. . A job analysis serves to identify the essential characteristics and requirements that worker must possess to perform a job optimally. The job analysis provides the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other resources for an effective employee for a particular position. Using the results of a job analysis, an organization can accurately label a job.
What has been your experience with job titles? As a graduate student, I have always felt lower on the totem pole with the “Intern” label. However, there is satisfaction knowing that upon graduation I will move up in an organization. It is incredible that a simple job title can make me feel a certain way about my job. I have known several friends that will not include a job on their resume because of embarrassment over a job title.
If you’re interested in looking up your own job title, I highly recommend *ONET. . O*NET is a division of the United States Department of Labor and provides detailed information for hundreds of different occupations. The website provides information about the tasks, abilities, knowledge, tools and technology, work activities, work context, and wage information on occupations.
How has your job title impacted you?