The trend: Head Cheese, Sales Ninja, Linux Geek - London's love of wacky job titles

By Chief News Hound Extraordinaire

Watch out – wacky job titles are on the rise. Yep, according to London-based digital printers, firms and employees are increasingly using alternative titles such as Sales Ninjas, New Media Gurus and Digital Dynamos in a bid to stand out from the crowd. God help us all.

Other popular examples include Word Herder or Copy Cruncher, instead of the traditional title of copywriter.

And it’s not just the creative industries getting, er, more creative. Traditional roles are getting in on the act too. Next time your boiler starts leaking or you decide to move house, you can ring Dave the Plumber Hero or Dan the Transportation Captain - if’s business card requests are anything to go by…

Top 20 modern job titles discovered by

1. Sales Ninja11. Transportation Captain
2. New Media Guru12. Web Kahuna
3. Word Herder13. Marketing Rockstar
4. Linux Geek14. Problem Wrangler
5. Social Media Trailblazer15. Superstar DJ
6. Corporate Magician16. Digital Dynamo
7. Master Handshaker17. Designer Extraordinaire
8. Communications Ambassador18. Head Cheese
9. Happiness Advocate19. Plumber Hero
10. Copy Cruncher20. Movie Magic Maker

If anyone is going to know about stationery trends, it’s, ranked number seven in the London Top 20 Fastest-Growing Companies - the firm has been supplying London with business cards since 2006 with enormous success.

But back to those Happiness Advocates and Problem Wranglers. Head of Marketing at (or should I say Marketing Rockstar?), Paul Lewis believes the trend is a positive one that should be encouraged: “Traditional one-word job titles no longer act as an accurate description of what a person does, or what they are like,” said Lewis.

“So why not stand out a bit by giving yourself a job title that sums you up as a person rather than limits you to just one aspect of what you do.”

The trend in quirky job titles has of course been around for a few years. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg famously had “I’m CEO, Bitch” on his business cards. The late Steve Jobs reportedly referred to himself as “Chief Know-it-all”. But while this trend may have its roots in Silicon Valley, it is growing in Silicon Roundabout (the East London hotspot for tech companies).

“Titles such as Web Designer or Digital Advisor are no longer enough to grab attention, so perhaps Web Kahuna and Digital Dynamo may work better,” said a spokesperson.

Account Director for communications agency Gong Communications, Sarah Caddy, works closely with recruitment firms. She believes that while being given an alternative title might please employees initially, job titles still need to relate to pay rates: “If they’re given something that looks to be a promotion rather than monetary inflation, the satisfaction won’t be long lasting,” she says.

Thar said, a study by compensation consultancy Pearl Meyer & Partners in 2009 found that employees respond well to job titles where more authoritative titles are assigned, such as manager or director - suggesting we really do care about our job title after all. At least we do when it makes us seem more important.

If all else fails, the fallback option for anyone wanting to spice up their job title is “consultant”, with more than six per cent of all business cards now being made for “consultants”.

But can the dishing out of weird and wonderful titles, or the enhancement of roles (albeit on paper only), lead to confusion?

Marketing agency English Moon thinks so. On the company blog it writes:  “Beyond the perception issues associated with offbeat job titles, it can just be downright confusing. In order for people to process the vast amount of information they receive any given day, they’re subconsciously looking for mental shortcuts so they don’t become overwhelmed with data.”  

English Moon suggest jazzing up you tag line instead, so follow Marketing Director with “AKA Social Media Maven.”

Do you err on the side of “Linux Geek” or “IT Consultant”? Let us know in comments below.

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