Monday, November 8, 2010

Describe Yourself, in 10 Moronic Words or Fewer

When I applied to graduate school many years ago, I had to write an essay describing my reasons for wanting to earn a graduate degree in business administration (reasons which COMPLETELY escape me now), and what I would bring to the program.  I have a very clear memory of sitting on a picnic blanket in Central Park's Sheep Meadow and penning my autobiography.  (This was back in the pre-computer days, when "penning" literally meant picking up a pen and writing.)

The reason I remember this so clearly is because, even then, I was struck by how ridiculous my essay was, particularly the part where I described myself as possessing a "seriousness of purpose," like some kind of mutant MBA in a Jane Austen novel.

I was reminded of this because I've been playing in the Linked In playground a lot lately and have noticed how job titles have morphed from the more generic President, Director, Analyst and the like to titles that are, let's say, more descriptive than in the past.  Apparently to stand out you need to append at least one adjective to your title, to qualify exactly what type of Director you really are ...or at least use a trendy buzzword.  Here are a few examples:

  • Senior IT Executive, Early Adopter, Part Time Futurist
  • Experienced, Decisive IT Executive
  • Creative Motivator and Problem Solver
  • Mentor and Catalyst
I am wondering what the part-time futurist does when he is not predicting the future (maybe he specializes in the past?) and whether he can tell me whether I will ever get a job (or maybe a part-time job is all he can foresee?).  And whether the "decisive" IT executive took a lot of time weighing his options before coming up with that description.  I am particularly intrigued by the "creative" means that the otherwise engaged "Problem Solver" uses to motivate and whether I can adopt that model in moving my recalcitrant children along.

(You just knew I was going to slip in the word "recalcitrant" before the end of this post, didn't you?)

I am weighing a number of options for my own Linked In title.  They certainly won't contain such mundane words as "experienced" or "award winning" (mostly because I haven't won an award in the past 30 years) but I am considering other attention-getting alternatives like "moody," "Blood Type O-" and "these hips were made for birthin' babies."

Those should set me apart.


  1. I want to be a futurist.

  2. Joan,
    you are cracking me up!

  3. haha you are hilarious; so made me laugh. I saw your post in LinkedIn. elsie