Job Titles of the Future

Job Titles of the Future

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.

Notes

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:

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