It’s All in the Job Title

It’s All in the Job Title

Lots of companies are more than happy to pile up tasks on your desk once you hit your stride. Oftentimes, what ends up happening is that you suddenly find yourself doing things that are at a much higher level than your original job title and description.

So why are bosses so stingy about the titles anyway? Because if they move you up, there’s usually a significant pay increase that needs to go along with it.

In their mind, it’s much easier to keep you at your current level, including pay and title. But what happens to many people is that they start to move along in their careers and end up finding other work at some point. Then, after a few years, that one job on your resume still irks you. The job title was far lower that where you were operating.

So it’s OK to change the title, right? After all, it’s been holding you back in your career.


Be aware about the temptation of “uptitling”—or giving yourself a promotion. You must be honest in your career portrayal. There is a solution, however: Provide the actual job title to be verified, and in parentheses next to it include the equivalency.

Example: Actual Job Title (equivalent to _____), MM/YYYY-MM/YYYY

This solves the problem. You are providing the correct (and legal) job title reflected in your file in the HR department, while also tipping off the prospective employer about what you really were doing at that time. A win-win situation for you that won't backfire.

Job titles can be tricky. And of course, if you are doing a completely different job now than what you were hired for, the best time to address it is now with the boss.

What you do now can have a huge impact on your next career steps. So make a strong business case that justifies why your title should be changed.

Remember, if you don’t advocate for yourself, you can’t trust that anyone else will.

Editors' Note: The views expressed by contributing bloggers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Meetings Today or its parent company.

Click here for more career tips (and videos) from Dawn!

Posted by Dawn Rasmussen

Dawn is Chief sumé Designer at Pathfinder Writing and Career Services in Portland, Ore.

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