By: Jennifer Devitt on November 16th, 2014
Guru, ninja or wizard. Are all tech and social media people Dumbledores?
Profiles, help wanted ads, job titles. These day's, it seems they are all infiltrated with some kind of superhero title. Today it seems more important to be a guru or ninja than it does to have say 5 years experience or quality testimonials. It seems if you are not a Programming Ninja, but just a lowly Senior Developer you are bottom of the barrel, doesn't it?
For me, these flashy, fancy titles are usually off-putting. You see, I am a firm believer in putting your money where your mouth is. If you are a self-professed "Guru" you better have the skill set, experience, resume and portfolio to back it up. If you are a social media firm or consultant and you don't even have any of your social media outlets on your website, how can you be taken seriously? Same with developers or programmers, if you don't outline the languages or databases you work in how can one believe you are an expert? I have taken some time to list the definitions of some of these flashy titles, next time you are tempted to use one or see someone else use one let's see if they really fall under the category.
1. Guru. According to Webster's dictionary, a "Guru" is a religious or spiritual guide. A teacher you trust or person who has a lot of experience. To many, a "Guru" would be the person with the most knowledge or experience on a particular subject.
2. Ninja. According to dictionary.com/ a Ninja is an "agent hired for espionage, sabotage or assassination." Many envision a Ninja has a warrior or martial arts fighter. So, unless you are hired by the FBI or CIA or working as an agent on Alias with Sydney Bristow perhaps a Ninja you are not.
3. Diva. Now, according to urbandictionary.com/ a Diva is a "female hustler, someone who will do anything to get what she wants". Some might say a Diva is a rude woman who belittles others or perhaps use the "B" word to describe a Diva.
4. Rockstar. Oxford dictionary says a "performer or successful singer". To me, I envision oh say the likes of John Lennon, Steven Tyler, Mick Jagger, etc.
5. Wizard. Per Webster, a Wizard is "skilled in magic, has magical powers or is very good at something". So, unless you are Harry Potter, Dumbledore or Professor Snape perhaps the Wizard title is overkill.
I understand we are all looking for ways to set ourselves apart from the competition. Perhaps if we are hiring we want or need the very best in their particular field. If you want an expert in a field, utilize language from their field to show them you know what you are looking for, understand their field and appreciate their skills. If you want to set yourself apart from the crowd, work hard, gain experience, expand your education. Create a rock solid resume, and diverse portfolio and work hard to create exceptional relationships with colleagues who can vouch for your experience or give you quality testimonials. One of the things the list of words above has in common is that they are all words. Words can be empty, but experience and knowledge is priceless. Trust in your abilities and don't hide behind superhero titles.