The Trap of an Amazing Job Title
Don’t Let Your Ego Makes Decisions For You
This morning I was reading an article by the prolific Tim Denning that really resonated with me. It resonated with me so deeply, as I have found myself in this exact situation. And over the course of my career, I have noticed that most people get caught up in this game.
We let our ego and our need for recognition drive our career goals.
This is insanity. But it is also normal.
Our society has conditioned us to always be looking to move up the corporate ladder. If we stay in the same spot, doing the same work, while others around us are being promoted — we develop a sense of inferiority. We feel others are “better” than us. After all, they are moving up while we are still in the same spot. And that is a blow to our ego.
I have been there. More recently than I would like to admit. After all, I am a career coach. So I should have this stuff all figured out, right? Well, I can admit it — I am human. I still let my ego get in the way sometimes, as much as I try not to. But there is a real primitive need we feel to impress others.
Having a fancy job title clearly signals to people — and to yourself — that the work that you do matters, that you are important.
Seeking external validation like that is dangerous. Because you end up doing what you think others think you should do. You seek “success” based on someone else’s definition of what success looks like. And you may even end up moving into a job that you don’t even like, just so that you get that feeling of being so damn important. I know — I have made that mistake, and it came with significant consequences to my mental health.
Getting promoted or snagging some fancy job title is not worth it if it does not align with your definition of what you want your work to look like. Don’t let your silly ego end up pushing you in a career direction that will make you miserable.
Tim (the other one, not me) concluded his article with a brilliant statement;
“Instead of an ego-driven job title it’s better to let your work speak for itself.”
Do great work, work that you enjoy doing, work that stretches you a bit. That makes for a brilliant career. And that is a key piece of being able to live an amazing life.
There is simply nothing more important.
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