Over the past twelve months I have made many career changes, while at the same time retaining other roles. Thus, when I have introduced myself, I usually described myself as the CEO of an online publishing company. Then, a couple weeks ago, I met a new neighbor and used that description. As I walked away, I had one of those lightbulb moments: should I really describe myself as that now?
The easy answer may be yes. I am writing the Editorially Yours column for the aforementioned online publishing company to share this quandry. However, I know that PeKu is not the company it was even six months ago. And PeKu itself doesn’t take the bulk of my time. Thus, what do I call myself?
An option would be to describe myself as a food blogger, recipe creator, or food authority. However, I wonder what others will think of that. My honest fear is that they’ll think I’m one of the many people who thinks she knows what she’s doing in her kitchen and writing on some community forum, not that I have been building Think Tasty over the past ten years and am currently putting many hours every week into this role.
Another option would be to announce myself as the Dean of Content and Instruction for an entrepreneurial education program. The problem with that title is that most people have no idea what I do. It becomes a longer answer in which I explain my role, how it works, who I educate, and more. And still, people give me a quizzical look, as they nod in agreement.
Part of the problem simply is that I hold two (or three, if you count PeKu) roles that exist primarily in the virtual world. A second part of the problem is that people want simple answers. “I’m a teacher.” “I’m a barista.” Just like we expect to hear “Good” when we ask how someone is doing. Maybe the best answer is to use a description rather than give a title. I work in the startup world in two diverse ways: educating entrepreneurs and blogging about my food creations. It is what I do with the bulk of my days.
Give me a title, if you need: Director of Content and Instruction, Recipe Creator, Founder of PeKu. I’m good with all of them. Just ask me to explain if you’re not sure what I do.