Working in a tech/digital company in 2016 is a bit like living in a shitty combination of Hollywood, and a bad Hollywood movie. Sure, on one hand there’s none of the glamour, the parties are less “ravetown in a disco bar” and more “drunken mortal kombat with fat people”, and the awards are tacky and mean very little. Ok, so SOME things are exactly the same. But on the other, you are constantly faced with to hackers, gurus and ninjas…who usually don’t hack, teach, or…er, ninja.
Anyway, the point is, the industry is full of stupid job titles, except, in my opinion, they are not stupid enough. So here are some of the stupidest job titles I have come across, and my even stupider suggestions.
Growth Hacker :-
The one that got me thinking. Apparently, there are people who…hack….growth? Apparently this is based on the totally rad hobby of computer hacking, which means <looks up Merriam-Webster> “to gain access to a computer illegally”. ?? What the fuck? So what, these people illegally access growth? And then? That makes no sense…there’s got to be some other meaning of hack.
“to cut or sever with repeated irregular or unskillful blows”
I give up.
See, the problem with “growth hacker” not the “hacker” bit. Because hacking is totally freakin’ rad. It’s the word before it. “Growth” sucks. “Growth” blows. “Growth” is all stuffed shirt and spreadsheets, while “hacker” is being all neon pants rad next to it. My suggestion – “Awesomeness hacker“!
Speaking of Awesome…
Chief Awesomeness Officer :-
Again, no beef with “Awesome”. As marketing has established, by 2020, EVERYTHING will be awesome, so much so that not being awesome will count as grounds for deportation into a less awesome planet like Krypticon 5. It’s an imaginary planet, because all real planets are awesome.
No, the problem is one of accountability. See, when a company gets caught fudging the books, they handcuff the CFO and take him away (or give him a bonus, but that’s neither here nor there). When the technology fails, they gang up on the CTO. And when it can’t make a sale, the CMO has to do something about it. But who is the Chief Awesomeness Officer answerable to, and why?
I mean, who is to say that the company is not being as awesome as it could be? How does one understand when awesomeness has fallen to critical levels? And most importantly, what does he do when someone calls him in the middle of the night, clearly panicking “Help, you gotta do something. Our awesomeness is running low”? Instant dance parties? I work a 9-to-5 job at a tech company. Trust me, the only thing that could make it awesome is the right to drink on the job. Strip him of that fancy title, hand him a beer cooler, and let the Chief Alcohol Officer do his job.
<Random Job> <Random Warrior Type> :-
You know what I mean. SEO Ninja. Social Samurai. UI Shinobi. Networking Knight. Only one of them is not real. First of all, this makes your team look less like an army of super skilled professionals and more like a hodgepodge of gaming handles. It is NOT impressive when someone who looks like the the only weight he lifts is the food tray introduce himself as a something ninja.
Also, if I fire my Social Media Samurai, does he become a Social Media Ronin?
I think the mistake here is the heavy focus on ancient warriors. Who can relate? I think we need to modernise it a bit, make it more relatable. How about Human Resources Hitman? Content Gangbanger? Or Web Design Wiseguy?
Evangelists, Gurus and Prophets :-
If they can’t take you off the mortal plane, they sure as hell will grab you in the spiritual one. Apparently, it’s not enough to be a salesman anymore. Somehow, shilling a piece of code that makes the porn get to me faster is at par with those who spread the word of God. Shame on you, man, debasing porn like that!
See the problem here is that they want to shill, and promote, and pimp, but also convey that somehow that thing they are shilling and promoting and pimping is going to change not just my life, but my very soul. They ARE selling code, but what they WANT to sell is spiritual healing. I actually have nothing smartass to say to that, except that when I float my own company, Senior Prophetic Evangelical WizardGuru will totally be a thing.