What Do You Do?

restaurant-people-alcohol-bar_smallI meet a lot of people and when I’m asked what I do, I take a deep breath and as I do I try to assess the asker. How much can she take? Can she handle my “I wear many hats” pitch, or should I just go with any of the following and if so, which would land best: Producer, Small Business Owner, Director, Blogger, or can I even venture out into Forward Thinker, Content Producer, Storyteller? Often, especially at Swiss events where modesty [for the most part] still counts for something, I’ll just mutter, “I produce videos”. In such settings I’m surrounded by bankers, insurance people and lawyers, who nod knowingly and then ask me about their favorite film, which inevitably I will not have seen.But, if I feel that my sparring partner, who has just asked me what I do, can take a bit of exploring I start with: “nowadays we all wear many hats and it depends on the day or season”, or I coyly reply: “depends on who’s asking”.

My current LinkedIn profile says: Content Producer, Director, Storytelling Strategist and Forward Thinker @ Clock Wise Productions.

Bottom line: for 99% of the population I could as well tell them that I was a Ninja Disruption Hacker and they’d have no more of an idea of what I do. Over the 13 years I’ve been on the board of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, I have explained what I do without much success [and it’s not for the lack of trying]. During board meetings if anything comes up that falls into any of the following categories: “event organization”, “creative”, “marketing”, “IT”, or “digital” they look to me and I oblige as much as I can and for the most part, my favorite adage holds up just fine: “I know enough to be dangerous”. That means: I know enough to sell an idea or a concept and then I go out and get the experts to clean up the mess I started. [Nowadays I have a few co-fighters on the board, which keeps me honest.]

Job titles have moved away from describing what we are: producers, directors, writers to what we REALLY do: organize the hell out of everything, tell stories and do a lot of reading and anticipating trends to stay alive and ahead of the competition. From that perspective my titles should be: Worst-Case-Scenario-Planner, Hand-Holder, Anticipator and, Link Driller and Distiller. I like the last one.

How have your job titles changed over the past years? What’s your favorite title, or the most puzzling?

P.S. Case in point: I just got an email from a lovely woman at Videofruit, who’s title is Happiness Hero, and guess what: just reading the title made me smile. Thank you, Jessica Matlock!