They’re everywhere. My LinkedIn feeds are overflowing with people, previously normal professionals, striking out to impress others by changing their titles to previously obscure and now overused terms. The use of these Super Titles is spreading like a bad cold. Stop it! Please! In an effort to call for change, I've scooped several of the top offenders from the pile and here are 4 overused and painful titles.
Sensi – Bless you! This term is Japanese in origin and refers historically to a martial arts instructor. So, unless you have martial arts training in your profession. Let’s chop (karate reference, get it?) it out! You are essentially calling yourself an expert (see below) instructor.
Guru – I thought this one had gone the way of Pet Rocks. Again, a reference that was historically tied to a spiritual tradition that has been stripped of its value by being applied to marketing, sales, accounting and the like. Consider the cosmic advantage of dropping this one. All together now...ohmnnnn.
Sherpa – I get it. It's cute. You get to be important while claiming the lesser, more humble status of a servant. Sherpa does have servant leader all over it, and it is all over LinkedIn. It was novel the first few thousand times, but now it just doesn't seem creative and is confusing to those who have never climbed a Tibetan mountain. Besides, Sherpa technically refers to an ethnic group in Nepal.
Expert - Really?! If I have to tell you I'm an expert, one of us isn't capable of knowing the difference. Either way, its insulting. Let people determine your level of proficiency themselves. Show them your competencies in your work, projects, accomplishments. If nothing else, let your endorsements speak for you. Endorsements are certainly easy enough to get!
Enough with the glamour titles. How about just saying it like you are and letting people decide for themselves. After all, would you rather do business with an established Director of Marketing or a self appointed Marketing Maven?