When it comes to job interviews, the first thing one of my friends considers more than the salary is the job title. She believes that the right job title will help her to climb the career ladder — and rightly so.
My friend’s situation isn’t unique. To many, a job title is part of their identity and one that could guarantee respect in society.
I have been infatuated with entrepreneurship since I was young. Whenever I imagined my future, I saw myself travelling the world, meeting exciting people and working on creative projects.
So, when I ventured into entrepreneurship more than a decade ago, I thought long and hard about my job title. How did I want to be defined?
After all, my job title would introduce what I did to the world. I remember spending many weeks thinking about it and how my title would evolve as my business developed.
As I was thinking about my job title, I came across a businessman at an event in Dubai. He has been an industry leader for more than 30 years, with an impressive track record in a range of fields, from construction to hospitality, and many people looked up to him.
I remember telling him that it was a pleasure to meet the chief executive of a conglomerate that helped to transform the UAE economy and change the face of business in the region.
He replied that although he’s a chief executive, he feels the same way he did when he was young: through his businesses, he only wanted to help people lead better lives, enjoy different experiences and live life to the fullest. That mattered more to him than his job title.
Our conversation, although short, left a profound impact on me, especially when it comes to the way we define ourselves as entrepreneurs.
It had me thinking that while job titles are important and we should give them due thought, we should focus on more important things, such as the work we do.
We should think of ways to create value in the field we are working in, as well as how our business can inspire those around us, improve society and make a difference in the world, even in a small way.
It also taught me how it is important to translate that value to potential clients.
No matter the sector you operate in, remind people why they need to work with you and how you are able to positively affect their business and their people.
Shortly after my conversation with the chief executive, I decided on a job title that I felt defined what I do best.
Nowadays, I say I am a consultant. It reflects how I help entrepreneurs and companies to come up with creative solutions.
Although a job title defines what we do, I thought about what my work meant to me and how what I do affects those around me.
Our work is so much more than the job title that defines it. To truly make a difference, we must focus on what drives us every day and remember what made us venture into entrepreneurship in the first place.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications consultant based in Abu Dhabi.