Black Koi Consulting
About the session
Stories about the power and weakness of a job title.
I’ve been in software development for twenty years. My main expertise or niche as I would like to call it, is software testing. Throughout my career I’ve had numerous titles, like software designer, software tester, software test engineer, test manager, team lead, teacher, test program manager, scrum master, QA specialist and many more. I’ve never experienced that the title alone has described what I actually do for work. Too often people assign their own meaning to a title, which causes misunderstandings and unwanted or unclear expectations.
For many of us work is a big part of our life thus also a part of our identity. So when I decided to take on a new role as a Scrum Master it wasn’t an easy decision. In the process I started to question my own professional identity.
Over the years I have experienced the benefits and limitations titles have and how it relates to culture, identity and motivation. At its worst I’ve observed and experienced how a change of title has caused “identity crisis” and even “existential crisis”. We seem to take titles for granted but often forget the impact it has on our identity. By sharing my experiences and some references to research I wish to shed some light on why it might be more important to put words on what we do for a living, than having a specific title.
Join me in this talk to understand how people might react to titles and change of titles. I will also share why titles means different things to different people.