Updated: May 24, 2018
The concept of "job titles" is weird and I don't blame you if you would like to square up with its creator.
Think about it. A word or two is supposed to effectively communicate what you do, how you do it and your salary. Even further, the honorary phrase (written with an accented, posh voice of course) shapes how you're perceived by others.
For the sake of organization and order, I see why job titles are necessary but they also create a sense of pressure...Pressure to live up to the title or to outwork the next individual so that you could live beyond the weighted words.
Recently, I embraced the titles of a "Publicist" and "Brand Strategist"--and by recent, I mean no more than two months ago. Mind you, I've been doing the work associated with both positions, full-time, for a little over a year now; and I do have at least three-plus years of combined experience from other jobs, prior to launching my self-employed path.
So what took me so long to publicly acknowledge that these named positions are a part of who I am?
Well simply put, I didn't think they belonged to me. I didn't think I worked enough to acquire these titles. I didn't think that my work qualified to be representative of these positions.
And social media and my insecurities are the primary culprits to why I felt the way I did.
I follow a variety of industry vets and millennials who appear to have more public-facing "proof" than I do; so of course, in my eyes, their titles match up. Given their years of experience compared to my (measly) three years--my work clearly doesn't meet the standard (that I made up in my head), so I've, often, hesitated to put myself in the same categorized bucket as them. At least that's how I thought until one day I realized something...
If I don't believe in what I am, how will others be able to? The question kinda seems like a no-brainer now that it's written, but it's one of those, "yeah girl, no duh! Wake up and realize you're a bad bitch!" moments.
YOU HAVE TO WALK IN YOUR PURPOSE. YOU HAVE TO EMBRACE WHERE YOU ARE. YOU HAVE TO EMBRACE WHERE YOU'RE GOING.
If you feel I'm yelling at you, it's because I am.
"Am I good enough?"
"Am I doing this right?"
"Would the greats approve of this?"
"Are people taking me seriously?"
Prior to me changing my mentality, I would literally feel my confidence shake as my clients introduced me as their "Publicist." I would feel unsure if the work I put in for them thus far was adequate to match how proud they were to acknowledge me as the P-word. They would never notice this because #ImAProfessionalDahling, but that doesn't mean this mentality was indirectly reflecting in my work. Though they were happy with our collaboration, how long could I carry out my obligations before I cracked under the pressure I was putting on myself? How much time did I have to be unsure?
The answer: NO TIME BIH!!
Two months ago, I realized I'm worthy of the titles because I've worked and I'm continuing to work for them! It's that simple. If you have the work to back you up, no one can rob you of what you are.
It's been about two months since I've officially mentioned the titles on my social media platforms, in my biographies; and whenever people ask me what do you do? I make sure "Publicist" and "Brand Strategist" are stated within the first few words of my reply. Every day, I feel proud to embrace this public and internal shift. More importantly, I feel motivated to continue building my craft and earning my "titles."
If you feel bounded by, unsure of or not worthy of your job title. Stop diminishing your fire! Don't let your title determine who you are. What's more important is that you BELIEVE IN YOURSELF and that you DON'T COMPARE YOUR JOURNEY TO OTHERS.
There are moments when I still question if I'm worthy enough to carry my job titles--I'm human, you're human--self-doubt happens. BUT my journey doesn't end with these weighted terms and neither does yours! You CAN be what you want to be. Besides, if you're putting in the work and have goals set, you're already ahead of the game.
If you believe that you are, what you are,
no one can take it (whatever that may be) from you.
- A publicist and brand strategist who doesn't let titles limit her capabilities.