Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Hands down, the stupidest title on can give oneself on LinkedIn is "Visionary." Yeah.

I've recently thought about starting a possible business with a partner, since my current job will be over come January, and I've been considering my options. So I've been looking through my LinkedIn list of contacts and their contacts to see if anyone there would fit the possible partner bill.

Mind you, not everyone on my LinkedIn contact list is someone I know very well. Some are people I worked for twelve years ago, some are people I've gone to shul with, some are real friends, some are second cousins who live in Israel.

Here are some more stupid titles that people give themselves:

Independent Organization Professional
Environmental Realist
Civicly Engaged Thinker
Online Consultant
Assertiveness Trainer
Community Leader

Me, I just put down what I do for a living.

I understand that there are many new industries out there and titles are not as solid and specific as they used to be. Very few people are just plain old firemen or teachers. For example, I have an acquaintance who teaches businesses how to use social networking to market themselves and he makes a living at it. He calls himself a Social Network Prodigy. I find that fascinating.

I remember seeing this book in Barnes & Noble in the early nineties: CD-Roms for Dummies. I kid you not. Someone found enough to say about cds to fill an entire book. I couldn't believe it. Granted, the technology was still somewhat fresh and new, but really, how much could they say about it? And who was gullible enough to buy this book? Me, I could summarize it in a few words: insert, press play, listen. And we're done. That's pretty much all the average person needs to know about cds. Maybe a chapter on track numbers. But someone was able to puff enough air into the topic so that some computer virgin who bought one of those newfangled cd drives on their Gateway 486 probably saw the book and said, oh yeah, I better learn about this.

That's how I feel about all of these new industries and titles popping up. There seems to be a lot of fluffiness inherent in these jobs. Social networking definitely has a learning curve, but it's a short one. No need for anyone to teach me how to market myself through blogging and Facebooking and Plaxo and LinkedIn. Really. And for all the self-described Journeywomen, Visionaries, and Community Leaders, well, hope this doesn't sound too harsh, but you might want to get a job. Or maybe just embrace who you actually might be and call yourself a stay-at-home Mom (which is, frankly, a career that I am aspiring to), or retired, or a volunteer. Stop making stuff up. Stop spinning who you are and have a little pride in what you actually do. It's silly. It belittles actual professions. And worst of all, it belittles you.

1 comment:

Shmilda said...

At risk of outing myself, I used to describe a cushy internship as "lunched at New York's finest kosher restaurants."