Judgement Day: What is the real relevance of YOUR JOB TITLE? And the TOP 3 ways to make sure you earn commensurate to it.
Hey you, YES you, YOU with the snazzy JOB title.
I want YOU to ask yourself the following questions:
Does your job title describe your job responsibilities and more importantly, does it reflect your job description and your salary?
Does your job title match the essence of how you spend your day? Do you feel you are being fairly compensated?
A JOB title is important on two counts!
People will judge you by it, so you want a title that speaks about your expertise and not only that, your employer will typically set the compensation around the JOB TITLE.
Say you went from Customer Executive to International Customer Manager in two years - now that is impressive! You worked hard at climbing that ladder looking for the next title (and that elusive SALARY INCREASE too) and now you get to bask in all the accolades that come with your new title.
How awesome does it feel to reach that new title? I want you to hold on to that feeling of success and satisfaction for a minute so that I can bring up this major point… job titles have a psychological IMPACT on us and our motivation to succeed and they also have bearing on how much you will be PAID.
“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment”
Rita Mae Brown
Can you believe 27 million business cards are printed daily? And did you know whoever reads your business card or receives a work email from you (with your title in the signature) will make a snap judgment based on YOUR JOB TITLE?
Even though 88% of business cards will likely be tossed aside within the first week, and your email content forgotten within minutes, the JUDGMENT and first impression generated by your title will remain.
Remember that saying “People will forget what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel? The same rule applies here: they will forget what you said, but they will remember how you came across… and your job title’s key role is to signal your role in the company.
Before someone has even MET you, their initial impression of you will be swayed by your job title. Now, I’m not interested in suggesting that you should or should not include your title in your email/business cards, all I’m just saying is that you should be aware of your title’s relevance.
What perceptions and images do the following job titles conjure up in your MIND?
Job Title: Rock Star
Job Title: Accountant
I am guessing, one was VERY different from the other.
Did you naturally put the rock star on a pedestal of success, dressed in designer clothes with a few tattoos? Did you assume they would be aloof, arrogant and happy?
Did you assume the accountant would be wearing a grey suit with a ‘business tie’ and carrying a briefcase? Did you assume they would be introvert, professional but friendly?
Maybe these are two EXTREME examples, but you get my point… Before You’ve even met someone, their job title can significantly impact YOUR judgment.
TITLES VS. DESCRIPTIONS VS. COMPENSATION
Job descriptions describe your responsibilities, tasks and other related duties pertaining to your function within the company. The job title also dictates where the compensation will be set too.
All too often my clients find they are BATTLING against themselves! They have a job title which doesn’t actually reflect their responsibilities. The truth is MOST women find themselves doing way more than their job title gives them credit for.
Equally, they find they are not being compensated for their responsibilities.
Let’s just say a client has come to me. They applied for a position based on the job title. The title feels like the next STEP on the career ladder and they will see an increase in COMPENSATION. The draw of the job title has already given them the PERCEPTION of their responsibilities.
At interview stage there was no DISCUSSION around the job description in great detail, my client's SKILLS and EXPERTISE met the company's criteria. After another round of interviews, my CLIENT was offered the JOB.
Two months in and they come to me for help. The reality of the job TITLE is VERY different from the job DESCRIPTION and their responsibilities. The compensation is also way off where it should be for their accountabilities.
In this SITUATION the GREY area of the job title vs the job description means they either end up with responsibilities outside of their capabilities OR THEY BATTLE to live up to the job title.
In this situation, sure be CHARMED by the job title and the credibility it will give you, but ALWAYS discuss the JOB DESCRIPTION, responsibilities and most importantly the compensation.
Do the TWO match? Is the compensation fair compared to the JOB description? Would you be happy with a GREAT JOB TITLE over and above a POOR or GREY JOB DESCRIPTION?
YOU VS. THEM
Employers use a job title to draw in the RIGHT candidates, but often forget to focus on the job description and the skills needed for the position.
A job description should outline the necessary skills, training and education required AND then used to form the basis of HIRING.
This is an example of an online job posting.
Job Title: Head of Customer Service
Job Description: Act as the Head of Customer Services, with ultimate responsibility for customer reviews of our services, Train and nurture the Customer Service Team to improve and maintain their technical knowledge of company formation. Train and nurture your team to drive sales of products. Implement and report on SLAs, KPIs, and quality assurance processes throughout the department. Manage the customer complaints process with an eye to reducing negative complaints on review sites.
Would you say the job title matches the job description?
Is a JOB title STOPPING you from applying for a JOB you are more than capable of DOING?
SKILLS VS. TITLES
Not to be repetitive, but I want you to ask yourself the same questions again.
DOES your job title DESCRIBE your responsibilities and more importantly your JOB description?
Does your job title MATCH the essence of how you spend your day?
Are you being compensated for your responsibilities?
Most of my clients answer NO to this question.
SO what can you do about it?
TOP THREE ways you can ensure YOUR TITLE fits your JOB
- Research, ask questions, play detective:
What are other people with your job title doing?
Gather information and see what the standard is?
Do you meet the standard?
What are you willing to do within this title? What would you consider doing “too much” or “too little”?
- Reality VS Job Description:
Dig out your current JOB DESCRIPTION, take a red pen, how has your ROLE changed?
Be honest, be accountable and be empowered… and if you’re stuck, we can help you.
Use all of the above the research you have collated to your advantage.
Setup time with your manager and talk about ‘How your role has evolved over time’...This is the time to lay the path for your career progression for both responsibilities and JOB TITLE.
Need more advice? Just ask: