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Advice for asking for a job title I deserve?

HannahBaldovino's profile thumbnail
Hey there! I think at the end of the day, you have to advocate for yourself. Don't be afraid to ask for something just because you think the answer will be "no." I think if they don't make the change, it would help to hear from them what their reasoning is. Maybe there's something going on in a macro sense that you're unaware of. I think if we're working in corporate America, we can all relate to feeling undervalued by our company so no one will stand up for yourself the way you can.
ErikaFerszt's profile thumbnail
Hey Julissa, I had a chance to hear Susan Lyne speak at Cannes once. She is one of the founders of BBG and former CEO of Martha Stewart Inc. She said that the only reason women didn't get paid as much as men, didn't get promoted as quickly as men, never had the same titles as men.....is because they never asked. Now we have to remember that a company's goal is to give people as little as possible in order to have more things to potential offer as future leverage. If they give you a promotion now, that's one less thing they have to give you in the future instead of money. So they could potentially "balk". I would go into it much like any negotiation. They might not want to give you your direct ask just because then it looks like they cave and that sets precedent. So they might consider your request and give you some form of compromise so that it's them deciding and not you. I don't know your workplace, but these are the usual negotiation tactics. It's very rare you get exactly what you're asking for. So maybe try to make a broader ask - like add two changes to your title so you can get the Manager in the end. Or set up the conversation so that it's them thinking that they came up with the manager title. For example "i'm really excited to be officializing these additional responsibilities, I've put my heart and soul into fulfilling my roles for the last year. Would we all agree that manager would be a more appropriate description than coordinator?" and then if you can figure out a way that calling you manager makes more sense for the company...like it gives you more credibility in the eyes of someone the company needs for something. Try and just paint the conversation that it's not an unsatisfied you, but a useful adjustment for the company.
Thank you for this - lots of great points here. I also want a salary increase (but know they don't have the funds to spare) so maybe I can use that as my second ask, so they default to giving me the title at least. This is all such tricky work and I wish it was more straightforward, but this seems to be the way things are in many startups.
ErikaFerszt's profile thumbnail
It's not just startups - it's 90% of companies. Very few organizations take the time to understand what truly motivates workers and so it ends up being a game of how long can we withhold, so we can keep them here. I worked in a company many years ago that originally had 3 levels of hierarchy, but they couldn't keep you as an account assistant for 6 years before you were qualified for the account sup and same deal for account director, so you build in lots of little levels as a way to motivate non monetarily. I'd definitely put the money in as a second ask. That way they'll be more likely to give you the title and then you're on deck for money in the next round. Good luck!
Thank you!
leenab's profile thumbnail
Using hard data will help you. If I were you, I would take two or three "external" job descriptions with me to demonstrate the title and the corresponding responsibilities.If they deny saying "titles don't matter" being open to conversation is important but you should be able to stand firm saying, "they (the titles) do matter to me and I'm talking about developing a career so it's important for me to make sure I get compensated appropriately and that my title reflects what I do."If they still deny, then unfortunately it will be time to find a new job, using all the responsibilities and achievements reflected on your resume.
Thank you, and I really hope they don't deny me the title. But it will be good to have a Plan B if they don't, like you mentioned.
teresaman's profile thumbnail
I would 100% advocate for you asking for a new title! I would probably structure your document like so:- highlight all of your responsibilities (general)- highlight all of your accomplishments (specific)- provide examples of job descriptions from other companies with the same title (I may go as far as pulling out only line items that are relevant to you)In proposing a new title, are you also looking for a salary increase? I would think you very much deserve one! If so, I would do some research before going into the conversation and have a salary range in mind. I would take this in a two-step process though, in which I would get them to come back to me with alignment on the title, then bring up the salary conversation.The advantage of title → salary being a phased conversation is that, say, if you are looking for a new role, despite not being compensated at the level you should be, you'll still be looking for roles at an elevated title from your current one. Also, introducing the salary topic earlier on may increase their reservation in giving you said title (if they're stingy!).Good luck!!
Thank you so much for your reply! The structure is especially helpful as I build my case.
natbandach's profile thumbnail
One of the first things to get what you want is to understand others motives. If I were your boss, I might think that you're asking to change the role to find another job with better pay - hence why I may be hesitant to recognise it - not to lose you.If you play this card and find reasons behind your petition that are not going to be a potential problem for your management (like you leaving for another company) it will be easier to persuade them.So, answering your last question: I think it's not that you're not a valued employee, but quite the opposite. They might be afraid that you will have better options elsewhere with your new title and simply can't afford for you to leave.
Ah, thank you for this viewpoint!
tonianni's profile thumbnail
Hmm, interesting that you are looking to ask, I changed my job title by myself and put that in my email signature. No one said a thing.That said, my husband recently negotiated a title change by presenting his work and making a case to say, my experience equals this title which would be most appropriate for me. He was willing to walk away if they said No, so if you truly believe you deserve this, as others have said 1. Do ask with real data 2. Listen to their perspective3. Be willing to walk away - Plan BAll the best.