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Chapter 2. Moving Your Career Forward > Changes in Job Titles and Descriptions

Changes in Job Titles and Descriptions

As a practitioner in the field, you know firsthand that titles and descriptions often represent a very small window for viewing the full range of work that’s being done. Although job titles and descriptions once served as accurate overviews of the tasks and responsibilities that defined one’s role in an organization, today they are little more than token placeholders. They change overnight and vary widely among organizations. Writing in Training & Development, Galagan and Salopek (2000) have characterized the situation this way: “[W]hat you call yourself—trainer, performance specialist, knowledge manager, learning officer—isn’t the point. It’s what you can help a company achieve that makes the difference these days” (p. 27).

Job descriptions will disappear. . . . In their place, we may see “role descriptions.” These statements will be very broad, simply confirming that all employees are expected to help the employer meet its goals and earn a profit. Workers will be expected to pitch in wherever they are needed, to develop several specialties, and to do whatever it takes to serve customers—both internal and external.

—Roger Herman and Joyce Gioia, futurists and writers



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