New Job Titles Like Ninja & Evangelist Become the Norm

If you’ve read a job description lately and spotted words like “ninja” and “evangelist,” you’re not alone. In fact, some job titles are becoming creative and downright quirky.

Just look at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the 181 year-old publishing company. According to a piece in The Boston Globe, its receptionist does what a greeter is supposed to do — Hillary Creedon is friendly. She says hello to visitors, answers phones, and hangs up coats. As for the 22 year-old’s name? Director of first impressions.

She told the newspaper, “There is a stereotype that comes from being a receptionist. Clearly there’s a difference.”

Is there really a difference though?

Apparently, yes. Old school job titles are getting a face-lift. As mentioned in the piece, Subway has gotten on board as well. Their classic sub maker is now a “sandwich artist.” It’s not unusual for companies to hire “social media evangelists” instead of using the brick and mortar term: Manager.

Maybe its a way to appeal to Millennials or just reboot roles but new titles certainly have a je ne sais quoi, that’s for sure. For instance, instead of being a senior vice president of business development, Joel Idelson joined Allen Gerritsen, a Boston-based advertising agency, as creator of opportunities.

But we wonder if thinking outside the business card cultivates a sense of innovation for others or merely confusion?  Aren’t we all essentially creators of opportunity?

Regardless, as corporate America begins to shake up its hold on steadfast titles, it emphasizes job titles may be more important to younger generations than older ones.

Susan Heathfield, HR expert, explained to The Globe, “Generation Y, or our millennials, were groomed by families to have an overly inflated emphasis on their own self-worth.”

She added, “You are going to see this increasingly reflected in job titles. They are not going to have a title like ‘receptionist’ and feel rewarded.”