It’s not rare to find people who introduce themselves as their title. Yet, in this simple introduction we haven’t really learned anything about what makes this person unique. There are many doctors specializing in a number of things and professionals that have accomplished more with a “lesser title”. So, why should titles matter in corporate optometry? They simply don’t matter if your position is easily replaceable; you are only as good as the people on your team.
Is it the title or the accomplishments? Consider when someone looks at your resume. If ten other applicants have the same job title as you then what would make them hire you? It’s your personality, skills, experience, and accomplishments that will set you apart in both a job search and in life. Another perspective to consider is that some professionals may have a title, but they haven’t worked from the bottom up, led by example, or gotten their hands dirty. Some people don’t have experience but also lack certain critical skills and are unable to motivate people. Some people are promoted by networks.
You also want to take a second to look at how people introduce themselves. Most times professionals will introduce themselves as their title. The ones that really stand out and have grown portray themselves as their name and let their history and accomplishments speak for themselves. Show confidence in yourself and what you have done. If you feel the need to state your title, then take a step back to look at how you are marketing yourself. Perhaps this is the time to consider pursuing new projects or working with others in the industry to make an impact in your career. That way the next time you introduce yourself you can be confident in stating your name from your accomplishments.
Is there passion? Really contemplate why it is that you have reached for such a title. Is it because the title itself brings a sense of fulfillment, or is it because the work you do with that title is important to you? There are professionals who work long hours and develop a routine that they don’t enjoy simply because it will earn them a title that is impressive or revered. Yet, when you look back onto the present will you be proud of the work that you’ve done? Will you be able to smile and say, “I did that”? Often people get carried away and there is a need to take a step back and reevaluate passion. When you’re passionate about your career you aren’t afraid to go outside of the norms and push forward. Some people just follow the rules, but you need to be a leader you need to innovate and take accountability otherwise your title means nothing if you can’t change things.
Is it about power and control? Unfortunately, this is something that you see within the industry. At times they think that because they have a certain title they can treat people with little to no respect. If you delegate work to others it only shows that you have power and if you misuse it then you will get nowhere. Successful people in the industry have respect among their peers and their peers look to them for guidance. They work together as a team rather than taking on a bottom down hierarchy. When you treat others with respect and consider them valuable assets to the team you are recognized. Professionals must respect their employees. These employees know the struggles that patients or customers have, if they are not able to heard then there is no learning within the company and no chance to grow.
Is it about how you have framed yourself? You may find a large corporation or even a small business owner that does not recognize employees or the team. They ignore emails, don’t respond to calls, and ignore issues even when they have the title and position to make a changes within the organization. That’s poor leadership. If you are not able to make a change and grow or to elevate people with you then your title means nothing. So how well have you framed people around you? You must motivate and inspire them to do more because the best ideas come from the people in the field. Think about companies such as Google where they have reached excellence but are also renowned for having happy and accomplished employees. Why? They strive to treat everyone with respect and give them the resources and empowerment they need to thrive within the company. Some of the great ideas you can come up with are hidden in the trenches. People in the workplace or in the clinic understand the patient/customer perspective. They see opportunities to innovate that others may not have seen and take it to the next level. Running your company from the bottom up is probably the best way to get an interesting perspective on your company and see great growth. Giving credit to those people for what they have done is critical for company growth. Goals and objectives need to be met as a team. Celebrating your office staff or the people that make up your team is important. You are only as good as the people that work with you. If people don’t feel like they are part of something big, you won’t get the results you’re looking for as a leader. Titles carry weight, power, and influence, but if you don’t have a framework or a team that are dedicated to you then the office doesn’t get anywhere. Do not be fixed on a title.
In the end, what truly gets your name out there and what makes you a respected and recognized leader within the industry or community is what you have done and who you are. When you accomplish something new, when you work with teams within your office and outside of your office you are putting your name out there. You are leaving behind an image that becomes a model for others to follow. When someone mentions your name, not your title, it’s the fact that you just worked on a new project, an employee boasted about being recognized, or that your staff won an award that will come up. How ingrained you are in your community, your workplace, and your industry is what makes you an accomplished professional. So, forget about your title it does not define you and look for what makes you passionate and how you can become confident in letting your accomplishments do the talking for you.