Titles? What's in a Name?


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

I always struggled with the idea of categorizing things and placing a title on who I am.  Perhaps it's the artist side of me that simply wants the freedom to be able to chameleon into anything possible. 

When networking and meeting people in a professional setting, it's even harder to establish a sense of career identity without fear of being placed in an all encompassing box, that can be restricting.  This stemmed from a conversation I had with a collegue who recently asked me "do you do graphic design" and I answered "yes", he then concluded "Oh so you're graphic designer?"  I paused for a moment puzzled at how to answer him, then responded with "yes but that's not all I do, much of my collaborative skill set includes everything from visual marketing to editorial work to even product photography."  We then began discussing the business card phenomenon.

One of the hardest things about constructing a business card or resume is when the "title" aspect comes into play.  I've always been told, that it's better to be more specific than vague, so this has led to me experimenting and attempting to discover a short title that can encompass everything that I do.  Perhaps that is why the title "consultant" is so widely used.  It's open enough to allow for any industry to fit into it, but at the same time designates that you are in a position to offer information or skills on a trade to a particular field. 

What I've found for the modern day "Jack of all trades (master of some)" is that the "tag line" or "motto" has taken the place of the one word title.  For example, instead of "graphic designer" I've seen "Digital Artist and Illustration Professional" or mine "Creative Direction, Marketing", or in place of "Real Estate Agent" the person put "a Specialist to Help Get You Home."  Whether these are creatively effective or convey the right message can be subjective, but the idea is that having a tag line allows one to elaborate a little more on the varying aspects surrounding more than just one skill set. 

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