How job titles can be so frustrating

I’m sharing my story for four reasons:

i) help me reflect and learn

ii) share my lessons to help you

iii) connect and learn alongside people who want to develop

iv) take a risk and be myself

So, a quick summary, I’m a one-time business analyst who’s been working in digital transformation since June 2017. I don’t like using the business analyst title any more because it puts you into a very limiting box.

Here’s a picture of it below:

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Alex Papworth vs Business Analyst

In the world of digital transformation, you’re supposed to be T-shaped apparently. That means that you have a ‘deep specialism’ (the downward stroke) and other broad skills (the horizontal stroke).

This was the first hint that I was allowed to enjoy coaching people; recognize the value and deep expertise required to be a good communicator; have a compulsion to find the root cause of a problem (even if it was the organisation itself); love to think about the big picture and imagine different futures; love solving problems by finding people with the right talents at the right time and and supporting them to provide amazing solutions.

So it would appear that the box labelled can do this if I get on well with my colleagues or no-one is looking might be one I could grow a bit to bring more Alex Papworth to work.

I should probably relabel it too — can do this if it helps the team achieve its goals.

As a person who loves to learn but only if there is a purpose, this is a great fit.

And what’s more the Alex Papworth box might grow too!

I intended this to be a diary of the week but it’s turned out to be a bit of a rant on boxes and role definitions. Thanks to Julia for reminding me of this challenge.

So my goal is to sell the full Alex Papworth because if you take the whole package and don’t ask me to fit another box you are going to get some cracking results!

However… the business world doesn’t seem to want one of those or I need to frame it in language that the business world recognizes. Currently, I’m playing with Agile Coach (who focusses on enterprise business agility) although I’ve got designer and coach on LinkedIn in the meantime.

But the only way I will be able to help to the best of my ability is to build a relationship first. And then find opportunities which have an Alex Papworth shaped hole (or something very similar).

Next week I might tell you what actually happened in the week and not be quite so self-indulgent ;-)

Written by

A problem solver who wants to help organisations and individuals who share my values. It's about sharing and learning together and being honest and open.

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