Training Magazine: You Are Not Your Job Title – 3 Ways to Break Free

17 Mar 2022
Creating and recognizing your identity outside of work and determining your own self-reflective title can help you control your identity.

Originally found at Training Magazine by Keith Keating

Job titles may not contain a considerable amount of words, but they can carry a significant amount of weight and power (Dixon, 2018). For hundreds of years, job titles have been a universal symbol sending meaningful signals to those around us of skill, status, and identity both in and outside of our organization (Grant, et al., 2014). Job titles also highlight rank and hierarchy within a working environment, giving others a sense of the collectively perceived importance of one person over another. Job titles are used as a tool to influence organizational culture by creating hierarchies and status distinctions between individuals whose work tasks or responsibilities may not necessarily be different. In fact, you might be doing the same tasks as the person next to you, but you have a different job title and salary. This view, although still common, does not allow the capacity to see someone for who they are rather than what they may or may not represent socioculturally.

No matter what job you do, the title does not replace the value you inherently hold within yourself. Our worth and our value is much greater than an imposed organizational identifier. And considering that employment status is largely not within our control and can change at any moment, giving the power of identity to a state in flux can leave us paralyzed in our identity.

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