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In my professional life, I've pretty much always worked at small companies. Usually, I've had a title that I seemed to fit my primary or perceived role (e.g. Developer or IT Manager), but in many cases, I'd be doing multiple different things over time. I never really worried about it much... until now.

Lately, I've been trying to answer the question "What do I really love to do?" and "If I had the perfect job, what would it be?". But I'm having a hard time mapping these answers into something that translates into a role or job title. Because after that I'd like to see about shoring up any deficiencies I have in that role.

Is there an authoritative resource for being able to know what a particular role does or job title maps to a particular set of skills?

Or am I just asking for trouble since job titles are just names and the real meat is in the responsibilities and duties that are given upon employment?

marked as duplicate by The Wandering Dev Manager, gnat, Lilienthal, David K, user8365 Feb 8 '16 at 16:38

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    "Is there an authoritative resource for being able to know what a particular role does or job title maps to a particular set of skills?" Nope, it means what the employers wants it to at the time. This is opinion based, and so off topic I'm afraid. voting to close. – The Wandering Dev Manager Feb 7 '16 at 17:15
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    How exactly is that opinion based? It is a yes or no question. – nvahalik Feb 7 '16 at 17:37
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    If someone asks "What do you really love to do?", they probably are looking for an answer something more detailed than simply "IT Management", or any other title. If they ask about your previous positions, you give the titles you had under those roles, and possibly explain primary and other responsibilities you had. – Brandin Feb 8 '16 at 10:27
  • This would only happen if there was some governing body or trade union that has the authority to establish what exactly a particular title does. Otherwise, there is some consistency, but it ultimately is up to each individual company. – user8365 Feb 8 '16 at 16:40
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Is there an authoritative resource for being able to know what a particular role does or job title maps to a particular set of skills?

There are services that many companies use to categorize jobs and titles. Culpepper and Associates, and Radford are two names in that space. They provide research and polling information regarding compensation, duties, and job titles. If you are friendly with an HR rep, they could help. Or a university placement office might well have access too.

There's no "authoritative resource" but these are two commonly used resources.

Or am I just asking for trouble since job titles are just names and the real meat is in the responsibilities and duties that are given upon employment?

Titles are just labels with little real meaning. Titles tend not to transfer well across organizations. Some companies use titles solely to derive pay level, and don't put much effort into the wording of the title.

I once worked in a startup organization where everyone had the title of "Software Engineer" even if they were in QA, Support, Ops, or Development. It was odd, but management somehow thought it was the proper thing to do.

Everyone ends up making a job their own. Everyone ends up doing many somewhat unexpected things over time. Don't worry about the title, worry about the contents.

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No there is no authoritative source. It's up to each individual company to decide what job titles they use. There are normal conventions in that the job title is normally descriptive of the persons actual duties, but that's about it.

It's purely up to the company and quite often the persons duties and job title don't always make sense.

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