This. I started my career as a designer in the early 2000s, soon realized I loved coding HTML and CSS so became a developer, did that as a freelancer for 7 years, eventually got a job as a front end developer at a top advertising agency in 2011, becoming senior in 2014 and remained that until last month, when I was suddenly laid off. The problem is that I was the always the only developer, so despite the title of senior front end developer being somewhat misleading, it didn’t matter. I didn’t even realize it was incorrect until the job offers started coming from LinkedIn, none of which suited me (recruiters definitely never read profiles properly.)
It’s affected my search for a job now because everyone wants a dev proficient in JS who preferably knows React/Angular etc etc. At worst I can’t even be considered a front end developer. This is a problem for me now so I’m having to fallback to calling myself a web designer again (which also has it’s own negatives). Luckily I’ve been doing a lot more work in that space again the last 3 years so started adding UX, design, and even art direction to describe what I do, but it’s not enough for me to be considered senior in any of those fields and, while I thought this would strengthen my CV, it’s really just watered it down.
The result is that I’ve become a jack of all trades but a master of none — once a valuable, multi-talented, T-shaped individual in the small teams I’ve worked with, but on paper, useless.