I heard something the other day at English comedian Eddie Izzard's show in Atlanta (he is English, even though he plays an American on TV, and Hugh Laurie from House is too):
"Why call it customer service? Isn't the reason that someone called the exact opposite?".

Needless to say Eddie got me thinking and over the last few days while surfing the web and responding to emails I have notice my title and a lot of others too. Where do these come from?

So my title is Technical Lead. What does that mean? Well, I don't really know but when I started Simplified Technology Solutions I didn't want to be called a consultant any like I was at my previous job. But when I showed up at a customer site (and I was the only person back then) I wanted them to feel all warm and fuzzy about getting a lead resource.

To quote wikipedia:
A consultant is usually an expert or a professional in a specific field and has a wide knowledge of the subject matter. A consultant usually works for a consultancy firm or is self-employed, and engages with multiple and changing clients. Thus, clients have access to deeper levels of expertise than would be feasible for them to retain in-house, and to purchase only as much service from the outside consultant as desired.

Still the word consultant. It just sends shivers down my spine. To me it reeks of smarmy, over priced, under skilled people, despite the need to "[have] a wide range on knowledge". Trust me, I have been doing this almost a decade (oh my!) and many of the people I've been colleagues with didn't no dick, let alone have a "wide range". So how does one qualify to be a consultant? I didn't take any exams and nor did any of my ex-colleagues yet over the years we went from consultant, to lead consultant to senior consultant. And each time it changed was because we were out of business cards and need replacements ordered!

After thinking over this, and while writing this entry I think titles are pretty meaningless in a "gun for hire" role. Either someone will hire you or they won't. And if they won't it doesn't matter what you call yourself. And I think that is called reputation.  Again, from wikipedia:
Reputation is the opinion (more technically, a social evaluation) of the public toward a person, a group of people, or an organization. It is an important factor in many fields, such as business, online communities or social status.

I guess I must have a good one. Oh, and STS too ;)
Darren Duke   |   July 2 2008 08:29:46 AM   |    Job titles  musing    |  
  |   Next Document   |   Previous Document

Discussion for this entry is now closed.

Comments (1)

Gravatar Image
1 - Lisa Duke    http://www.simplified-tech.com    07/09/2008 3:14:31 PM

Do you also play an American on TV?