Christopher Murphy · 23 September, 2020
Job Titles of the Future is an exercise I ran on my Masters in Multidisciplinary Design in 2011.
The tool was inspired by a masterclass on 'Designing Your Future' that I organised with Christoph Zellweger, an artist and designer I greatly respect.
Job Titles of the Future are useful for imagining future roles and establishing direction on your career pathway.
When it was first imagined, information architect probably looked a little unusual, but now it’s unremarkable.
Here are some imaginary job titles and some real job titles:
- Wisdom Manager
- Idea Merchant
- Language Engineer
- Culinary Alchemist
- Knowledge Broker (This is me.)
- Accountability Czar
- Email Advocate
Job titles like this are useful as a creative provocation and a thought exercise.
Think carefully before using them on your business card, however. This job title – “I’m CEO, Bitch.” (Mark Zuckerberg) – communicates a lack of maturity, never mind its pejorative, bro-culture language.
You can use the strategy of colliding existing roles and disciplines to create new, hitherto unheard of, roles that can either act as provocations or – perhaps – provide you with the job title that’s been eluding you.
Here are some job titles that might have seemed – one day – fanciful, but they’re all very real.
A Language Engineer
David Marquet describes himself as a Language Engineer. I had the pleasure of seeing him speak at Brooklyn Beta not long after he published his book. He‘s incredibly inspiring.
A Wisdom Manager
Scott Carpenter's role is as a Wisdom Manager. He enables, "Global enterprises to anticipate first, take action first, and benefit first from new opportunities and challenges."
I particularly like the Values that Carpenter lists on his CV: integrity, curiosity … dedication.
An Email Advocate
Val Geisler imagined a role for herself into being, as an Email Advocate for Really Good Emails, teaching others how to create, well, really good emails.
Anything is possible. The secret is:
- first to imagine it;
- second to articulate what the role entails; and
- finally, to do it (and – even better, as Geisler did – persuade someone to pay you for it).
There are a tonne of ideas on this page at IDEO: