Sunday, July 15, 2007

Job Titles, Legitimacy, Calling: Artist, Editor, Teacher

Obijuan brought up the ordination of Tori Spelling on his blog, which I thought raised a lot of interesting issues about job titles, standards, and legitimacy:

  • Who can use a job title?
  • What makes use of a job title legitimate?
  • Who decides if you're legitimately using that job title?
I looked at how job titles (artist, editor, and teacher) are perceived by individuals who use the titles (me, in these cases), the general populace, colleagues, and academia.

So what did I learn?

  • I'm willing to use a job title that represents my daily work regardless of professional training or a degree (I wonder if this is a Gen X characteristic, involving lack of respect for institutions);
  • If I use the job title and earn money from the job practice, members of the general population will regard me as legitimate;
  • Within all three professional fields (art, editing, teaching), colleagues inevitably set up a hierarchy of what sort of work is valued and devalued; and
  • Regardless of daily work practice, academia is more than willing to set up a credentialing program for legitimacy regardless of what is actually needed to do the practice of daily work.

Next up? I'll look at the Universal Life Church ordination process with what I've learned in mind. Perhaps.