Don’t Start a Company For A Fancy Job Title

Reading the title of this post, I am certain most of you think that this must be some kind of utopia. Maybe so, but sometimes I get the feeling that this is just what happens—and it is not a recipe for success.

At the Gothenburg School of Economics, Business and Law (part of the University of Gothenburg), we have a student union. Part of this student union, or at least in many ways related to it, are a plethora of student companies. Everything from management consulting through accounting to marketing is covered. I won’t go into detail what I think about many of these companies because that’s beside the point here, but looking at them from a distance, it seems that many of them are started just for the purpose above: For some students to get a fancy job title to put on their resumé.

Unsurprisingly, many of these companies are rather small. Yet they still manage to have a CEO, COO, CFO and a range of managers. Doesn’t it beg the question whom is being managed by all these managers?

The quick thinker amongst you may remark that I personally refer to my title as “Managing Director” in my company. Leaving aside for the moment that it is technically correct, it may seem a bit pretentious. The reason I do, is because when the company keeps growing, it definitely refers to what I am as well.

Every company has an MD (or CEO etc—just pick a naming scheme). Every small company does not have room for all other managers, whose roles seem to be just made up to make the title look nice. In the end, just having had a fancy job title doesn’t make you a candidate for the same jobs. I am certain nobody would hire me based on having experience as “Managing Director” in my own company. It’s the qualifications and what you do that matters.

Think about it before just creating a fancy job title to make it look good on your resumé. Even in the business world, what you actually do speaks much lounder than any title ever will. Pretentious job titles works against you as customers and other stakeholders see right through them.