Sunday, July 5, 2009

Designing the Designation

So I am in manically active job hunt mode right now.

I am pretty much always on the verge of quitting – but there is usually a continuum of urgency in the job search mode.

There is what I call the passively looking mode which pretty much starts on the second day of a new job – where the resume is updated and lovingly polished, where the head hunters are called and you do some whining ( and dining), and when you generally let the world know that you are quite available in the market.

The active job hunt starts immediately after the first contretemps at the work place – could be week two, or if you are lucky, a few months. That’s when you start actively wtf-ing the place and the people, and calling up placement agencies often enough to recognize the security fellow’s voices.

And there is the manic active job mode. Where you more or less lose all sense of perspective (also discretion) and distribute your resumes out in a manner which can only be described as cavalier (or if you want to be crasser – whoring). You give resumes to neighbours and their dogs, you give them, you distribute it to the milkman, your emails carry your entire CV instead of the signature and by this time the placement agents are cowering under their desks, you know the www.naukri.com listings by heart and you even contemplate all sites which promise fortunes sitting ‘in the comfort of your own home filling online forms at five rupees a form. (As you can see, a fair amount of time has been spent on this phase)

One of the things one DOES in the course of this manic hunt mode is frequent sites like Linkedin.com. This is what I have been doing as well. Of all social media thingummies - I think I find LinkedIn the most fascinating (and also the most useful. Colleagues remain that. Colleagues. They don’t throw online shoes or whatever it is they are throwing these days or poke you or pop up on the chat to chirpily ask “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii wat r u doing?. Okay rant over.)

Anyways, besides looking for jobs there, one also looks at the job titles and profiles of a number of people. Yes, I know it’s fairly common practise to pad your resume – but some of it is embellished so much, that its pure, unadulterated fiction.

There is this girl, with a year’s ex or so who has just joined my team. She sent me an invite recently. Her job title reads something like Market Intelligence Analyst. She er, reports into me, so I do happen to know exactly what she does. Viz. Market study of the cafeteria. Analyzes the contents of chick-literature and Archies. AND intelligently flirts with my boss every time he is within a five mile radius.To his credit, he sees through this little playacting, and will watch these attempts with a very sardonic gleam in his eyes. (One of these days I shall give into the temptation of making fun of him and will get sacked for my pains. But he more or less sacks me three times a week so it’s okay. I do need to stop cheeking the boss come to think of it. If I do get another job, it might not be the best policy hmmm). Anyways, I digress, I do happen to know that this female's designation is Executive -Marketing or something to that effect.

Then someone else, who is taking classes in a coaching centre – has a title called independent education architect. Somehow, when someone says education architect, the picture that comes to mind is that of a VC of a university, who is formulating policies for the country’s education system.

I suppose I can’t blame my friend the Market Intelligence Analyst. My company has about 23 Vice Presidents, 12 Presidents, CTO, CIO, CXO; (I am sure one day they will have CA-ZO’s: Chief Admin Off, Chief Bullshit Officer, Chief Copying Officer....Chief Hospitality Officer – we already have a Head of hospitality and travel – the most clueless chick in existence who always books the tickets on the wrong days) .There are VPS and MD’ and Heads and all combinations of the above – and believe me trying to figure out which one takes precedence is a diplomatic minefield - every time I have to mark mails to half a dozen of these fellows, I go and ask HR for the pecking order so that I don’t inadvertently trample on some sensitive egos. Mind you, 3/4th of these have no tails or body. So we have loads of strategic talks and ideation and other very high-falutin things, but absolutely no implementation.

I think I need to change my designation as well. Cynic, Chief Writing Officer and Chief Moderating Officer, Wonderland. How’s that for a start?

This post was written sometime back, and I had completely forgotten about its existence – was just reading the Peter Principle ( I have a half written post on that), when I recalled this.

18 comments:

In love with my life said...

LOL! on the "Market Intelligence Analyst"

Some of them are a riot when you know what they actually do! Helps digestion.

litterateuse said...

Yeah, LinkedIn pretty much still remains on my (somewhat) respected list of networking sites. But even that's becoming a closet Facebook, minus the eggs thrown and chest bumps (eww!).
On another note, you should consider calling yourself Chief Cynic. Should work as designation or appellation, depending on whether you want to work or delegate ;)

Nice one!

g

Lazy Pineapple said...

funny funny funny...really so well put :)

D said...

My second time here and I must say, you write exceedingly well!

And going by that, you could easily outdo any of those fancy designations with a creation of your own!

AmitL said...

ROFL-Cyn,you're so right-when job hunting,those are the stages..:)though,I haven't heard of starting job searches on the second day of a new job.:)
---
I'm sure, in these recessionist times,the milkman would be the one to get some good replies to the CV..haha..and,yes,that's a gem of an idea-attaching the CV below the signature(Do send me one such emaill..:))
---
Incidentally,did you ever try what the new term'funemployment'recommends::
(courtesy Sunday TOI)

‘Funemployment’ came into being with the recession, when people began losing jobs. It means unemployed individuals making use of the break to enjoy their free time — travel, take up physical activity and have a good time but at little cost. They may not have been able to do this earlier. The funemployed are young people who have few responsibilities and commitments and can afford a break. They also use the time to find another job, but don’t spend time worrying about it.
----
Nice idea,na?

popsie said...

Splendid post, can't agree more! :)The description of each phase of job hunting is sooo true.I can so relate to the ideation and strategic plans with no implementation whatsoever. As for using misleading titles on linkedin, guess it's jargon that is supposed to help them find a better, productive and more lucrative option OR is it the feel good factor that comes in to play, given the way such fancy designations sound? I wonder...

Starry-eyed nut said...

Amazingly funny! Some of the Linkedin profiles are really eye openers (especially when you know the inside story)!

Cynic in Wonderland said...

in love - seriously. point i i always wonder why they invite colleagues that KNOW them. I mean you should have an anon linkedin profile or something no? It's even funnier when they ask you for reccos.

G- i rather like Chief Cyn. But Somehow I am getting confused images in my head of red indians and me tarzan you jane. I dont even want to investigate what thought process had led to that hmmm.

lazy pineapple - danke verr muchly

D- fiction you mean? dictator for life Cynic? Hmm there's a thought. I think i shall write a post with what my designations should be.

Amit - one fellow i knew used to do that. he had been asked to resign ( i would normally feel sympathy but he really was terrible at work) - so every mail had his resume listed.

popsie - but making up your own designations cant really give a person a thrill can it? sometimes i think its for peers you know - you all come out from the same place and here is someone with fancy title. problem is then everyone starts discounting the actual titles.

starry eyed - and if you see the really talented people, they will have fairly ordinary sounding designations. the more bombastic they are, the more bombastic the desigs

Cynic in Wonderland said...

in love - seriously. point i i always wonder why they invite colleagues that KNOW them. I mean you should have an anon linkedin profile or something no? It's even funnier when they ask you for reccos.

G- i rather like Chief Cyn. But Somehow I am getting confused images in my head of red indians and me tarzan you jane. I dont even want to investigate what thought process had led to that hmmm.

lazy pineapple - danke verr muchly

D- fiction you mean? dictator for life Cynic? Hmm there's a thought. I think i shall write a post with what my designations should be.

Amit - one fellow i knew used to do that. he had been asked to resign ( i would normally feel sympathy but he really was terrible at work) - so every mail had his resume listed.

popsie - but making up your own designations cant really give a person a thrill can it? sometimes i think its for peers you know - you all come out from the same place and here is someone with fancy title. problem is then everyone starts discounting the actual titles.

starry eyed - and if you see the really talented people, they will have fairly ordinary sounding designations. the more bombastic they are, the more bombastic the desigs

Meira said...

Well...imagine poor HR's condition when it comes to bonus time for these Chiefs. Phew!
And linkedin has the recommendations, where colleagues keep badgering you for false ones! phooey!

Meluhhan said...

I suppose an ungainfully unemployed person would be euphemistically termed 'Independent Inactivity/Recreational Officer'.

As a geeky academic, I'm so far removed from the corporate world, but I was recently made Starfleet Admiral by my juniors by virtue of being a fifth year grad student. I'm putting that on my resume when I apply for jobs. I wonder how that would sit with HR.

Arunima said...

hubby was in an org where almost everyone was a VP. Associate VP, VP, Senior VP, Executive VP etc. :-)

the moment i join an org, I also think 'where next?'

Amey said...

How about "Chief of Everything", "Commander in Chief" or even better "Chief for Life"? :D

Rada said...

Your post reminded me of a cynical ex-colleague who complained in the new company he had joined, everyone had fancy designations, including the lift operator who was Manager - Vertical Transportation! :-)

Cynic in Wonderland said...

meira -ah yusthe reccos. its a complete quid pro quo scam. i recco you and you recco me back. and there are people with a laundry list of these. ugh.

Meluhhan - Independent Strategisizing Officer. You think great thoughts. What do you think the people actually sitting in offices do eh?

Arunima - Heheh generation of ADD people no?

Chief Amey - We could have a different one for everyday of the week no. So cool that would be.

Rada - did he join my ex work place I wonder. Serious designation overdose there I tell you.

narendra shenoy said...

HAHAHA! Laughed out aloud like a Chief wildlife officer (hyenas)!

Mampi said...

I am the chief blog responder-CBR.
Hehehe,
Loved the post.
You are amazing with words.

Pinku said...

awesome...too good...pass on the tips to actually landing a job too...please..