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Opinion Poll: Who made up that job title?

[ 27 ] June 4, 2013 |

Attracting top talent to work in-house can be a challenge – often due to misperceptions that in-house environments are less creative or too rigid. Another obstacle can be job titles. Corporate titles are often at odds with industry-standard creative titles, resulting in “made up” titles and muddy role clarity. Let us know if job titles are an issue at your company.

What titles do the creative leaders on your team hold?

  • Other (leave a comment) (48%, 25 Votes)
  • Creative Director (25%, 13 Votes)
  • Creative Services Manager (23%, 12 Votes)
  • Art/Design Director (17%, 9 Votes)
  • Design Manager (13%, 7 Votes)
  • Head of Creative Services (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 52

Vote

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Category: Articles, Opinion Poll

About Kim Kiser: View author profile.

Comments (27)

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  1. While I am generally referred to as my company’s creative director, my actual title is “Leader, Creative Services”.

  2. Kriss Goldsmith says:

    Creative Services Director

  3. Pennie Bainbridge says:

    Brand Manager and Director, Brand Management

  4. I am the sole creative with the completely non-descriptive title of “Technical Specialist I,” however I prefer to go by “Design Illusionist.”

    • Mina Radivojevic says:

      I can relate and love the tile Design Illusionist. I also have a pin which clarifies my role: I’m not a cake decorator, I’m a designer. Sometimes it helps.

  5. Ed Roberts says:

    My most recent job title reflected those wonderfully made up government titles that always left industry folks scratching their heads with a look of “Whah!?” on their faces.

    The worst: Communications Projects Supervisor. This brilliantly descriptive title meant Creative Director without using the word “Director” (I actually don’t like the word “Director” either).

    I’ve requested a title change twice in my career. Both times occurred while working in-house. Each time I selected a title that accurately reflected my value and contributions.

    Today my title is Creative Lead. It’s simple, descriptive and most important, I like it.

  6. Ed Roberts says:

    My most recent job title reflected those wonderfully made up government titles that always left industry folks scratching their heads with a look of “Whah?!” on their faces.

    The worst: Communications Projects Supervisor. This brilliantly descriptive title meant Creative Director without using the word “Director” (I actually don’t like the word “Director” either).

    I’ve requested a title change twice in my career. Both times occurred while working in-house. Each time I selected a title that accurately reflected my value and contributions to the in-house team and organization.

    Today my title is Creative Lead. I believe my title is simple, descriptive and most important it was my choice. I also had my writer’s title changed from “Strategic Communications Specialist” to simply “Copywriter.”

    • Mina Radivojevic says:

      I have requested a change three times, still waiting. What’s the secret to getting it?

      Mina

      • Ed Roberts says:

        Hey Mina,

        You are probably doing all the right things. But hopefully I can shed some light on how I was able to get my title changed.

        I was able to do this by reestablishing the value and credibility of my in-house team. Both were viewed as liabilities, so a lot of work (and a couple of years) was put in to rebuilding internal confidence.

        Once my team and I put in the hard work and changed the mindset of our internal stakeholders, I was able to explain to decision makers that our titles did not appropriately convey what we actually do. I was able to show them tangible examples of how difficult it was for me to do business with external counterparts who couldn’t decipher my strange, government title.

        Basically, I framed my title change as a business “must” instead of a business “want.”

  7. This is a revealing InSource Opinion Poll!
    I also like Creative Lead; and will try that one. Graphic Designer doesn’t accurately reflect my value and contributions to the in-house team and organization.
    • Project Management
    • Web Contributor, images and content
    • Graphic Design
    • Copywriter
    We don’t ‘just produce work and get it out,’ we determine best solutions for content management, include IT team architects, analysts and integrate ideas to the web environment.

  8. Paul ODonnell says:

    While our titles are for the most part standard industry titles ie. Art Director, the word director gets us in trouble. We have a director of Graphic Services and I am Sr. Art Director. By our corporate standards because of the word director, I should be at the same level and pay grade as my department head. While this is at times a problem the bigger issue is that “corporate” doesn’t know what an Art Director does so when they do their “equitable compensation studies” comparing our salary and benefits to the market we usually get shafted because they are comparing titles only and not our job descriptions.

  9. Lisa Krasnow says:

    The best my company is willing to go with for me is Graphic Designer. We now also have an Associate Graphic Designer. The manager of our department, who is a public relations professional is called Manager, Branding and Communications. I have been advocating for a stronger title for years, but cannot use “manager” or “director” in the wording.

    • Blynda Barnett says:

      I feel your pain, Lisa. It’s embarrassing to do business outside of our firm with titles that don’t conform with our industry.

    • Ed Roberts says:

      I wonder if InSource could research and develop a list of acceptable titles that our members could use to make the case for and share with their senior managers. It’s a little radical, but something to ponder.

    • I’ve got the official title of “Technical Specialist I” however they did let me put “Design Specialist” on my business card. Not exactly descriptive, but certainly better. Specialist just sounds so…uncreative.

  10. cailin63 says:

    Director of Commercial Lines Sales & Marketing (we are a niche property/casualty insurance company). I am Graphic Designer and we have two Marketing Communications Specialists rounding out the group.

  11. Alissa Stutzman says:

    Creative & Design Manager

  12. jwright says:

    I am a solo in-house graphic designer, and my title is “Creative Services Manager.” It is common here to give the title of “Manager” even though that person has no authority over anyone but themselves. They let me choose my own title, and I was “Graphic Designer” previously. We’re pretty flexible about titles in general.

  13. Sarah Butler says:

    Starting out as a solo in-house designer, my title was Creative Design Specialist. No one knew what that meant (including me) so after some responsibilities were passed on to me I was able to change it to Graphic Designer/Project Coordinator.

  14. Blynda Barnett says:

    I no longer use my firm business cards since my title was changed from Branding and Design Manager to the prestigious Senior Graphic Designer. Law firm’s don’t allow “Director” titles for such positions.

  15. Mina Radivojevic says:

    I have struggled with this for years, I am called a communications specialist which means nothing to my clients and to the rest of the industry. It’s quite a challenge. In spite of all my efforts to educate, this is still the case.

    As a professional member of an international design association, I think that associations could help with clarity and regulating the titles, standardizing them, especially if we have a professional standing in a professional association. It would help if our associations could advocate for us, as in SPEC work.

  16. Mina Radivojevic says:

    I have struggled with this for years; I am called a communications specialist, which means nothing to my clients, and to the rest of the industry. It’s quite a challenge. In spite of all my efforts to educate, this is still the case.

    As a professional member of an international design association, I think that associations could help with clarity and regulating the titles, standardizing them, especially if we have a professional standing in a professional association. It would help if our associations could advocate for us, as in SPEC work.

  17. rcolangelo says:

    We have the following senior level titles at White & Case, which is the legal services industry:

    -Global Creative Services Director
    -Production Design Manager
    -Graphic Design Manager

  18. alaina delabruere says:

    Being the only in-house designer, my official title is “Web Marketing and Graphic Designer” but co-workers label me as “Creative Director” “Graphics Lady” or just “Designer” to the others internally and externally.

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