Image by DeepBluC
This is a question I’ve been pondering a lot lately when I’ve cleared to many people what I do for a living. Could a simple deduction practice help to determine this?
So am I a,
1. Creative Director?
This is something I even printed on my business card, because at that time it sounded this is what I do.
But in order to be a director, shouldn’t you be having people to direct, right? Well, first of all, I work through networks, and my job description varies a lot, so simple Creative Director [although it sounds good and very mighty] doesn’t do the trick.
2. Just a “Creative”
Well this is most definitely an ambiguous term in a time when everyone and everything is somewhat “creative” or “innovative”. So, no thanks.
3. Social Media Expert?
I find this term a bit hilarious, but I had to put it here in order to make a statement: If there’s someone telling he is a social media expert, don’t believe him. At least too easily.
There are people who understand a lot more about the current web than others, but there are also some of those who try to open up for you a Twitter account or a Facebook Fan Page without really making it clear what it all means.
I would be most cautious about how much we can currently understand what will become of this early mess that we call social media, social web or whatever.
4. Digital Native
I could also be called digital media native, but it’s not quite selling and most likely there aren’t too many people who even know what that means. And in the end it’s more a description than a profession anyway.
5. Digital Media Agent
I tried this for a week, but the word agent sounds like I’m a movie agent, or something from the James Bond saga. Yes, I’m investigating things and sometimes wear a suit, but that’s about it. No Walther PPK, just a Mac, sorry.
With this description I wanted to be considered someone who connects people with digital media.
I believe that new times need new descriptions. We didn’t say ” Metal horse” when the car was invented.
So what am I then? Like I’ve always said that I don’t want to categorize people or to be categorized too heavily [that can prevent self development and growth], but sometimes it’s just something that you have to do in order to make other people understand what you do for a living and where your professionalism could be helpful.
So currently I’m using the title Social and Digital Media Coach. This for two reasons,
1. That’s the closest thing that sums up everything I currently do.
During my time as an entrepreneur I’ve been working with social media in education and in business, from the training to concept creation and even graphic design [yes, I still occasionally open Photoshop too]. I’m also a project manager in an international ICT project which includes usability, eLearning and Mobile. In addition to this, I’ve also designed user interface / experience and graphic design for a mobile application.
As you can see, describing my work with one sentence can sometimes be a hard task.
2. Because I don’t want to be mixed with the label “professional” or “expert” too strongly. I believe the things in social media to be flexible and something that you need to consider with your client or whoever you are working with. You know, together, and not from your professional ivory tower.
And this is how I want the process to be, because that’s the only way to make people understand the new possibilities the web can actually offer. Possibilities that go far beyond than just simple status updating or Fan Paging.
EDIT (after much reasoning): I have to admit that I was wrong; there’s no one definite term I could currently use. There’s just situational terms and being a creative person I just cannot lock myself up with one.
So yes, unfortunately the term “Creative” that I’m mocking up there is a good term, and so is “Trainer”. So let’s keep with these for a while.