What's in a name?

I recently had a conversation with someone in the business I very much respect. My wife. She is the head of Account Service and PR at Laughlin Constable. She’s an impressive woman with an impressive title — Senior Vice President, Integrated Services. And she deserves it.

Myself, I’ve never cared about my title. My current one, Senior Copywriter, was bestowed upon me in protest. I didn’t want “Senior” or “Copywriter” but apparently our accountants and clients like titles. I prefer the more generic “Creative” but there isn’t a billing code for that.

What’s more, I’ve never wanted to be anything more than a creative. I’ve never wanted to be a creative director. Or ACD. (Okay, not entirely true. There was a brief period where my ego was out of check with my principles.) So what’s my problem with taking on a bigger title? I enjoy doing the work. Being a grunt. But, I'm a grunt that thinks strategically and keeps the focus of the work on strategy. I'm a grunt that helps with planning and developing briefs. One that builds and maintains client relationships. Pitches new business. Presents campaigns. And, yep, even provides creative direction.

And for me, money has never been a factor. In this business, you increase your salary by either getting promoted or by jumping from agency to agency. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve always worked for agencies that have compensated me based upon my abilities. Not my title.

So Megan was counseling me to abandon my position on the matter and ask for the title. By counseling, I mean she was telling me abandon my position on the matter and ask for the title. Her argument was that I mostly do what CDs do and that if I wanted people who don't know me to take me seriously, I should have a title that matches my abilities. My counter was that I’m a “creative” and that nobody takes me seriously anyway. A poor, poor attempt at humor that fell like a lead balloon. Yet I left the conversation believing in my belief that I don’t need a title.

Then today, I read this:

@copyrider Do you red flag people who've been at the same level for 4+ years? Cuz I do. There's gotta be a reason they're not getting promoted, right?

So what do you think? If you’re an employer, are you afraid to call upon a prospect because they haven’t ascended the corporate ladder? If you’re a client, are you asking why you’ve got the "B team" on your business? If you’re a creative, is it a goal to get the big title?

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.