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Remind me of what you do again?

November 17, 2015 at 3:49 pm / by

Interstellar peace broker. Austro-Hungary’s top classical pianist. I am neither of these. Although I feel increasingly my LinkedIn profile or Twitter profile ought to be. Poetic licence on a CV, a little exaggeration on one’s resume and generous job titles have long been the stuff of observational comedy but I believe we have entered a new era.

The era of ultra hype.

Hype so other worldly, so grandiose and devastatingly out of kilter with reality that the internet is choking in it. It is not enough to be a Managing Director or Business Owner. Such is the plague of insecurity over how we’re viewed, only the self declared title of Global Business Coach and Mentor will suffice. Perish the thought that you’d be ordinary or even good at what you do. Carry a job or business title that doesn’t paint its master or mistress as successful on a scale previously unseen to humanity and you are planted firmly in the doldrums.

Happy Monday. Don’t forget to be Awesome.

Woe betide anyone who does their job without crowing from the nearest IP address or skimming their twitter feed with navel gazing, superlative laden quotes and memes. When did we become so insecure?

I have no doubt insecurity is what’s at its heart. That and the good old fashioned “keeping up with the Joneses”. The neighbours Facebook timeline is materially richer than ours so let’s add an extra five words to our job title. There should be no shame in a straightforward, vanilla headline of what you do.

Please don’t bring Motherhood into it.

“I’m a video producer and Mum of three”, shouted a recent Facebook post. The purpose of the post was to draw attention to her supposed skills in the field of video. Why does your parental status matter? Is a Mum better because she is a Mum? Is she better placed to churn out eye catching and innovative content because a triumverate of small children have come into her life and that of her husband? Why would I go to meetings and pitches and introduce myself by saying “I’m a video producer and Father”? It’s jarring, self indulgent and so unnecessary. Her work was pretty poor in all honesty. The sound was bad, the framing and editing left a lot to be desired and it smacked of an amateur playing at it. It’s enough to be a video producer.

You honestly don’t have to be Mother Teresa, Richard Branson, Emmeline Pankhurst, Professor Brian Cox, Michelle Mone and Gandhi all rolled into one. If you sell a health drink, then you sell a health drink.

It doesn’t make you a “Six figure income coach and passionate believer in empowerment”.

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