If These 4 Things are True, It's OK to Ask for a Title Change
When it comes to promotional opportunities, most people think of a raise. Asking can be tricky and generate some angst, but people are often willing to take risks to score some extra cash in their paycheck. Additional pay is always nice, but have you considered your job title? If not, you should. A job title is far more valuable than you might think.
Not all job titles are created equal. Many people don't stop to think about the importance of the title they hold and what tangible value it can carry when it comes to future career opportunities. The job title you have now can directly impact your paycheck later. If these four things are true, it's OK to ask for a title change.
1. You carry more responsibilities than your title suggests
People who are good at their jobs are usually rewarded with more challenging tasks, giving them more opportunities to strut their stuff. The problem is, over time, as responsibilities are added, you may find yourself holding a title that doesn’t designate your elevated status. If you find you're currently performing at a higher level than your title suggests, it's a smart strategic move to negotiate a new one because maintaining a lower-level title will make it tough to apply to better paying or higher level positions requiring responsibilities you already know how to handle.
2. Your job has morphed into something different
You may have joined your organization for one position but over the course of time absorbed the tasks of colleagues who moved on or were let go. If so, your job may no longer resemble the position you were hired to do—making your title inaccurate. If your job has morphed into something that doesn’t remotely resemble what you currently do during the course of a day, it makes sense to ask for a new job title accurately reflecting your “new” position.
3. Your title is too generic
Job titles like "administrator,” "tech assistant," "analyst," and "product manager" are too generic and don't offer a clue to what a person does. If you hold a generic title, it's a good idea to request a better, more descriptive one.
4. Your job has become obsolete
If you attend networking events and during the usual introductions, you routinely notice people have puzzled looks on their faces when you share your title, it's probably time to ask your employer for a new one. As tech moves forward at a rapid pace, the way tasks are completed has changed gears, but a job title may not keep the same pace. When your job title reflects responsibilities no one recognizes, it's definitely not an asset to your career.
These days, a job title should be considered a piece of an overall compensation package. If your title isn't making the grade, don't be afraid to ask for a new one. Remember, a better job title can:
- Align you for promotional opportunities
- Help you land coveted positions with a new organization
- Net you more money when you negotiate a future position
- Boost your morale
Keep the following in mind when you approach your boss.
- Logically outline your reasons for the title change
- Compile a list of any achievements you've made
- Think about valuable skills you possess
- Research what other current titles exist that reflect what you do
- Offer a specific suggestion about the new title you'd like to hold
- Be ready to negotiate if your boss doesn't like your title suggestion—consider your employer's needs too
Bosses are sometimes a little stingy when it comes to raises, but are often more generous when it comes to job titles. If yours isn't making the grade, ask for a new one. Down the road, it'll better position you for stronger career growth and prove to be way more valuable than you may think.
Lastly, prepare yourself in the event your request is turned down. This way, you can decide ahead of time what your next move will be—will you be content to stay and keep your current title or do you want to start looking for another job?