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The silliness of today’s work: what is your job title?

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I find myself bemused by job titles these days. When I was a lad, it was Managing Director, Director and Manager. Now it’s Chief this and Chief that and Head of this and Head of that. So, I checked out the job titles that do exist in real life but should not. Here’s my shortlist.

  • Chief Storyteller
  • Chief Joker
  • Chief Product Officer
  • Company Ambassador
  • Head of Ideas
  • Chief Inspiration Officer
  • Chief Chatter
  • Sherpa

… I could go on, but why do I have an issue with people creating new job titles? Because they don’t work. Chief Storyteller is usually a marketing thing, as is Chief Joker; Chief Product Officer is just a product manager; company ambassador is ridiculous as countries have ambassadors, companies don’t; and head of ideas? where’s the execution? Anyone can have a thousand ideas but, if none are implemented, then they are just that. Ideas.

I could go on, but don’t get me wrong as I’m all for change and creativity, but some of these titles are plain stupid.

They’re just heads of HR and IT. Mind you, at least it's better than these guys ...

But then who am I to tackle this issue, when I call myself Chief Troublemaker, and promote the idea of a Chief Cannibal Officer?

I guess the bottom-line is: why should business be boring?

What has changed in my lifetime is we have gone from strict hierarchical controls to a much freer and open office. We have given people far more ability to have fun in work, to have beer in the office, to have group nights out and enjoy the freedoms of the 21st century.

Therefore, it’s no surprise to me that we have people like Boris Johnson caught out having parties in Number 10 Downing Street during lockdown rules. People need a release from the straitjacket of conformity and, if you have told everyone to stay at home for two years, it’s no surprise that some will break those rules. This is especially true when you have the ability to call yourself a Digital Overlord or Top Cat.

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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