What's in the Zone?

Congratulations on Getting Promoted

Posted by indroneel on November 3, 2011

What with the double-dip recession, the ridiculous hike in petrol prices and year-on-year reduction in the number of promotions, especially at senior levels, the minimum that your organization can do is create designations that really sound cool!

The other day, I happened to facebook one of my campus friend. We touch-based after 15 years, and his immediate question was: “I thought you did electrical engineering. What are you doing as an architect?” He was obviously referring to my job description as a technical architect and confused the same with the brick-and-mortar variety. (Note: my friend has been working with SAIL for the past 15 years, and is not that into IT).

To seal the argument, recently I met with one of my uncles, a respectable, retired high-ranking government official aged around 70 or so. His greeting on seeing me was: “Hello, director-saab. How are you?” He was, of course, referring to my designation as a Program Director, sans the ‘program’ part.

Members of the hallowed senior management band, if you are reading this, here’s my earnest request to you: please create designations that sound very similar to those in public sectors at senior levels. With a little trial and error, here’s my recommendations on suitable sounding names:

  • Anything to do with ‘evangelist’ is a bad idea. Let’s not mix work and God.
  • Designations with the word ‘chief’ in them. Chief Engineer at a junior level and Chief Technologist at a senior level.
  • Designations with the word ‘officer’ in them. Should not include both ‘chief’ and ‘officer’ in the same designation. That would be upper management and hence out of scope of this recommendation.
  • Designations with the word ‘manager’ especially in conjunction with words like ‘country’ and ‘region’. A good example being regional technical manager (what kind of an animal is that?!). ‘Head’ is another good substitute. But never project manager or business development manager – that is sooo 1990s.
  • Designations with the word ‘director’ in them, e.g. Associate Director, Director of Operations, or as in my case: Program Director.
  • General Manager and Vice-President are all-time winners. So what if you have more than 50 GMs or VPs in your organization.

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