I was having a very pleasant meal last night, and thought I'd share a conversation.
JD: What do you do for a living?
Dinner Companion: I work as a radiologist.
JD: A Radiologist?
DC: Yes. Do you know what that is?
JD: Oh, yes, I love DJ's. What's your favorite music?
DC: That's a good one.
JD: It's X-Rays, right? You do the x-rays ?
DC: Close. I don't take them, I interpret them. A x-ray technician takes them.
JD: That makes sense. Wait. I have a question.
JD: You said you work as a radiologist. You didn't say you were a radiologist.
DC: hmmm, I never thought of that.
JD: It's an interesting choice of words. Most people say they are "a blank," or they say they work for someone. But you said work for. I wonder if that's because you're not attached to one place, but move around so much.
DC: It's possible. I do work for a single company, but we're contracted out to different hospitals and clinics.
JD: So it could be that "you work as a radiologist," is a phrase based on the style of work you do. That's very interesting.
We moved on from that, but it got me to thinking, who else has interesting phrases to describe what they do? We know that inflated titles is common, with teachers calling themselves "educators" and garbage men calling themselves "environmental impact technicians," and salespeople calling themselves, "account executives" or "account managers." But how would explaining your career help a recruiter understand your motivations?
When someone has ambitions, you hear them say:
"I currently works as a (server, retail associate, accountant), but I'm taking night classes for (insert profession here)."
Technical folks tend to define themselves by title: " I'm a network architect."
Financial folks (corporate) define themselves by the company they work for:
"I work with Ameren, or Citigroup, or Peabody."
Financial planners just say: 'I'm a financial planner with "company.'"
Small business owners come in three sizes:
"I own a company" (I've had it for a long time).
"I run a company. (I work very hard)
"I founded a company" (we're not profitable, yet)
Any others I missed?