How the world has changed.
We all realise the world is changing fast when you look back ten, twenty or fifty years. Ten years ago, there was on iPhone or Facebook. Twenty years ago, the end of the Soviet Union, the removal of the Berlin Wall and the aftermath of apartheid were still reverberating around the world. And fifty years ago, the Beatles were enjoying their first success, John F Kennedy was dealing with the Bay of Pigs and the Cuba crisis and the Great Train Robbery takes place in Britain.
Well, I often use these time breaks to reflect on how the relationship has changed between the bank and their customers. Fifty years ago, it was a very personal branch-based relationship; twenty years ago, we had pushed the customer away and made them use call centres and ATMs; ten years ago, the customer was self-serving at home on the internet; and today, they are doing everything on their mobile.
Obviously this helps us to think about how things might change ten, twenty, fifty years ahead.
Ten years from now, everything will be connected from ear-rings to handbags, cars to cranes, walls to ceilings and more; twenty years away, embedded technologies will ensure that everything, everywhere can be tracked and traced; and fifty years from now, Iron Man will rule the world.
Something like that anyway.
Why am I blathering on like this?
Because I just spotted a BBC Series on the workplace and how it has changed. It’s a ten part series on the History of Office Life hosted by Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway.
The series has covered a variety of angles on office life:
- How the office was invented
- The ancient Chinese exam that inspired modern job recruitment
- The invention of the career ladder
- The arrival of women in the office
- Do we still need the telephone?
and last night’s episode posed the question Are there too many managers?
What a great question?
Lucy poses the question because there are FIVE MILLION managers in Britain apparently.
I can understand that we have some managers in the office of people, but with the total workforce in Britain numbering thirty million people, that means that one in six workers in Britain is a manager.
Now I reckon that some of this is bending the term to suit the job.
For example, Manager of Beverage Dissemination is a creative way to describe a bartender; Canine Relocation Manager is what we now call a dog catcher; and Waste Manager is a toilet cleaner.
Maybe this is a result of the term Manager being over-used and over-inflated.
I know that when I was growing up in business, it was not long that I went from Graduate Recruit to Marketing Manager to Senior Sales Manager.
All of this before the age of 30.
Then I landed the title Director, which I thought was great until I realised there were thousands of other directors in the company. Luckily, working for American firms, I then gained the elevation to Vice President and, soon after, Senior Vice President.
But it all means bugger all as it turns out, these are just vacuous titles thrown onto business cards to give people a self-inflated view of their world.
That’s why I always appreciate people who don’t use titles or letters after their name, but just go by their confidence in themselves.
Nevertheless, as a result of al of this office bingo word job title lottery, we now see everyone getting more and more creative in their job titles.
Chief Inspiration Officer, Evangelist, Ambassador and Director of First Impressions are some of the titles that have crossed my desk.
At least these are slightly more creative. Mind you, it can go a little overboard: Wizard of Light Bulb Moments (Marketing Director).
If you want advice on how to get a creative job title, just take a look at John Sullivan’s blog about creating exciting job titles. John advises that you just need to use certain words, such as:
- Rockstar/badass (e.g. software rockstar)
- Virtuoso (e.g. loans virtuoso)
- Connoisseur (e.g. interest rates connoisseur)
- Champion (e.g. service champion)
- Guru/Kahuna (e.g. social media guru)
- Star (e.g. design star)
- Warrior/Jedi/Ninja (e.g. retail Jedi)
- Terminator (e.g. problem terminator)
- Artist (e.g. mortgage design artist)
- Creator/Magician (e.g. creator of happiness)
So welcome to Chris Skinner’s new job: Bank Wizard Czar of Finance.
Nevertheless, the discussion of the most hated job titles is also a regular debate online. For example, in the Examiner.com’s worst job titles their largely teenage audience (or so it seems to me) voted:
- Erection Engineer (Manufacturing plant position)
- Knob Head (Transportation position)
- Shaft Serviceman (Mining position)
- S&M Administrator (Sales & Marketing Administrator)
- Shaft & Tunnel Manager (Tunnelling Engineer)
amongst the top ten.
Mind you, the most popular weird job titles appear to be those that are weird, wacky or just relate to human bodies.
Source: the WorldWideInterweb
I guess I’ll leave it there, although if you really want to continue with this rich vein of corporate humour, then just got to the Job Title Generator, and see what new job title you can come up with for yourself!
Postnote: at least these are better than some of the worst jobs in history. According to the TV series and book by Tony Robinson, there actually were jobs in history such as swilling out the crotch of a knight's soiled armour after battle or being Groomer of the Stool (official wiper of the King’s bum!).