Trendster job title: Ninja. Unlike.


I get that the young professional generation wants to be able to define themselves. We all did when we were early in career. But Ninja? Really?


It may be that part of that self-definition, for many, includes coming up with trendy job titles. And it may be a function of my age, but I find it a little bit annoying. I’m not sure if it’s the need for attention or a cooler-than-thou attitude of some people. But it just bugs.


And from a career standpoint, for all of the trendy flash of the titles, they aren’t really a great idea. First, when a recruiter is looking for a person with a specific type of background, they may use possible titles as keywords. There may be a few, separated by “OR”: (“program manager” OR “project manager” OR “development manager”). Yeah, nobody is really going to look for a “product ninja.” If they use any variation on titles in their search, you are out of luck. And even if you aren’t looking for a position at the time, recruiters should be part of your personal network for future career changes.


I get that sometimes a specific position may be challenging to describe. I struggle with this myself; “staffing manager” gets me calls from agencies, “program manager” leads people to believe I have technical skills. “Training manager” won’t work because it’s what I am doing now but not really “what I do.” But I’m just guessing that “Ninja of awesomeness” isn’t really going to help.

Comments (8)

  1. Steve Syfuhs says:

    Soooo…that wouldn’t make you a blogger ninja then? 😀

    I have my official title, and then I have my title that I use parenthetically.  Usually for mailing lists, contact forms (one in the same these days), surveys, etc.

    The official title is used for important stuff, the not-so-official title is used in not-so-important stuff and less.

  2. Travis Simon says:

    I take your point and understand your position, but I respectfully will always think of you as a ninja of awesomeness. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree.

  3. Toby Getsch says:

    I hear what you’re saying.  At the same time, if someone wants to set themselves apart and someone is looking for that, there can be a fit.  I got several interviews from a LinkedIn job title description of "SharePoint Guru" and I never intended it to be anything other than "cute."  However, when recruiters searched for those specific words and then called me, there were opportunities.  That has happened more than once.

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    Steve and Travis – Hee! You guys say the nicest things. Steve, good point about using two titles.  And frankly, as long as a more official title shows up online next to your guru/ninja title, the searchability issue is solved.

    Toby – I hear you. At the same time, you’ll never know about the calls that you didn’t get. Anyway, I suppose that the type of companies you want to work at play a part as well (and the keywords you used to describe your work).

    Now I may go off and try to think of a title for myself that nobody has ever used before. How about Awesomesaucetress?

  5. Todd in Chicago says:

    How about "Evangelist of Awesomeness"?

    🙂

    P.S.  Who do I have to pay to get an interview at MS?  😉

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hmm, I think "evangelist" is one of the titles they quoted as being overused.

    And if you could pay for it, everyone would have one 🙂 Sorry you aren’t having more success.

  7. Toby Getsch says:

    some other fodder came in today… and it is numeric…

    http://blog.linkedin.com/2010/04/08/linkedin-ninja-job-title/

    I guess crazy-random has to start somewhere.

    Shhh… I think I just saw one.

    #ninja

  8. Ben Alonso says:

    You could use "Simply Awesome"! 😉