Many job titles these days are just fodder for the Stupid Job Title Generator. You know, those silly titles that involve words like ninja, maven or guru.

But bad job titles can create worse problems than you would expect. A misused title structure can be abused by self-important jerks, who will wield their status like a bludgeon in internal political battles. They will use this internal equity meme to jockey for budget resources, office sizes or even what meetings they should attend. These are the people who say things like, “I only interface with other directors, not mere managers.”

Also, an inflated title can be used to justify an undeserved raise. For example, someone might say, “Salary surveys show that most directors are paid more than I am.”

Finally, a less-impressive title is embarrassing to someone who punches above their weight class. Your star employee might be chafing from seeing other people with lesser abilities perceived as more successful, solely due to their inflated titles.

Fortunately, figuring out which titles you should use for your staff does not have to be hard. The job market already holds your answers.

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