A Job Title Question of the Day

What job title did you initially misunderstand?

The Forrestal Building, where the Department of Energy is headquartered. (Photo credit: Cliff, CC BY 2.0.)

So if you’ve been following the news (or the social medias), you’ve probably seen something about how former Texas governor Rick Perry agreed to be the Secretary of Energy because he thought he’d be in charge of oil and gas. Sources of energy! It makes sense, right?

‘Learning Curve’ as Rick Perry Pursues a Job He Initially Misunderstood

In the days after, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.

But, if we’re really honest about it, we’ve all made those kinds of mistakes. When I applied to be a “subscription sales associate,” for example, I didn’t realize that I was signing up to be a telemarketer.

My Career As a Telemarketer Has Affected Every Job I’ve Had Since

I also have a faint memory of sitting in a temp agency and telling a recruiter that I was interested in Human Resources because I enjoyed talking to people. Years later, when I worked as an Executive Assistant at a think tank, I made the same assumption everyone else makes when they see the words “Research Assistant:” I could do that! I did all kinds of research in college!

So, in honor of former governor Rick Perry, what job titles did you initially misunderstand? This is a judgment-free zone, so share away.

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