I was thinking today about the notion of job titles. Account Manager, Purchasing Agent, Human Resources…how well do these titles really reflect what we do on a daily basis? In today’s fast-moving business world, it seems that, for the majority of us working in small business, our titles don’t really reflect all the roles that we fill.

Take Sew What? as an example.

Silvia Soler’s “official” title is Human Resources / Sales Support. But the roles she fills include: party planner, safety coordinator, receptionist, banking coordinator, conflict resolution specialist, trainer, inquiry coordinator, fabric sample coordinator, customer service representative, and so much more.

Our Account Managers/Sales Representatives (Shane, Gwen, and Violet) sell our products, but they also function (in varying degrees) as project managers, advisors, designers, graphic artists, freight quote specialist, and, again, much more.

Tammy’s title is Bookkeeper, but she is really accounts receivable bookkeeper, accounts payable bookkeeper, payroll specialist, credit manager, collections agent, backup receptionist…

Carley is our Purchasing Agent, but she could also hold the titles of dispatcher, researcher, supervisor, inventory coordinator, job material specialist, and so on.

Michelle is the Director of Operations, but she is also production scheduler, mediator, trainer, supervisor, translator…

Megan is the President of Sew What?, but she also wears many hats, including account manager, designer, marketing specialist, website developer , stategic planner – the list goes on and on.

Adam is the CFO, but he is also functions as COO, technical draftsman, graphic artist, printing specialist, IT specialist…

And myself? Well, my title is General Manager, but to me that just means that, like everyone else here at Sew What?, my role is to do whatever it takes to support our customers, the staff here at Sew What?, and the company itself. That might mean answering an incoming call, helping to track down a missing shipment, figuring out why our computer system suddenly went down, processing a flame certificate for a customer, researching a new product, completing our quarterly sales tax report, requesting insurance certificates, meeting with consultants, preparing a performance review, signing checks, or writing a post for this blog.

Occasionally, people ask me why no title is listed on our business cards. The reason is that, though we all have titles that give a general idea of our function within the company, the reality is that these titles do not truly reflect the scope of what each of us does here. Regardless of title, each of us here at Sew What? does whatever needs to be done to satisfy our customer, produce a high quality product, support our co-workers, and continue to improve the company as a whole.

In a large company, maybe you can get away with each person doing one thing, and one thing only. The Purchasing Agent purchases, the Account Manager sells, the Receptionist answers the phones and the A/R person sends out invoices. But in a small business like Sew What? that just doesn’t make sense – so why should we limit ourselves based on a title?