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cayenne111's avatar

How do I negotiate a better...job title?

Asked by cayenne111 (15 points ) May 2nd, 2012

Another company made a job offer and I’m preparing to sign it and switch over to them.

After much negotiating, they have agreed to offer me the same salary. The only issue is that they’ve offered me a job title that I’ve already moved past – they want me to come in at a “coordinator”-level title.

I’ve only been in the professional world for 2 years out of college, but I have started at my previous company as a “coordinator” and was later promoted to a more mid-level position.

I feel like going back to a “coordinator” would be taking a step back. Am I wrong to assume this? Is there a tactful way to negotiate my job title without sounding vain?

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12 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

Thank them for the job offer, but tell them that if you accepted the job with a title of coordinator that you would be damaging your resume for any possible future jobs. Tell them that you can’t afford to have a resume that looks like you got kicked back a step, and then ask them right out if they could give you the title you are after, even if it is for the same pay as they have offered with the same job description.

“Thanks for the offer, however I can’t really afford to have a step back on my resume. I would love to work here for good in a job-for-life fashion, but the way the world is changing I can’t afford to assume I will be working here forever, so is there any way I could have a better title so my resume does not look bad? I would still be willing to work for the same pay and do the same tasks you need, I just don’t want to shoot my self in the foot.”

marinelife's avatar

Ask. It never hurts.

If they say no, I would not worry that much about the title. Titles differ from company to company. You can put in your Work Experience what you were actually doing,.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I wouldn’t worry about the title, at least at this point. Here are a couple of reasons:

1.) If it is proposed that you are concerned about how it will look on your resume at the point of accepting a job, it implies that you are concerned about the appearance of your resume. A resume is only used when applying for new jobs down the road. It won’t leave a favorable impression on the hiring manager.

2.) As a former hiring manager, I did notice when there was an implied step down in job titles. What was more valuable though was description of the job duties under each title. It never ruled out an applicant. It did bring up questions during the interview asking for clarification.

If the job title change was when going from one company to another, it rarely meant something that would raise a red flag. Each company has their own title-naming process. The smaller the company, the titles can sound more impressive. The larger the company, the titles come in all forms of levels.

3.) Is this a large company? Are there others there that hold the same title? If either apply, it may require a lot of red tape in order to get approval to change your title. The company I worked for had a department designated solely to grade job positions and select titles based upon the job requirements.

If others hold the same title, it may mean that they as well need to have their title changed. Then it really becomes a paperwork nightmare for the company.

Bottom Line: The change in companies must have been made for some reason. You were successful in negotiating the salary you desired. I wouldn’t push your luck in asking for a different title as well.

keobooks's avatar

My husband took a “step back” position when he got hired on in his current job. But that was because they had no positions open in the position he actually wanted, but the insurance options were better and it was an overall better company to work for. Once one came up, he was offered the better position. He later found out that this company rarely hires people on the level he was looking for because they want to take you for a test drive for a month or two – even with enough experience at another place.

You may get the promotion later. And you could just list your job responsibilities rather than the official title on your resume. And believe it or not, hiring agents to take it into consideration if you took a lower ranked job to get better insurance or to get a job in a better location or at a better facility.

gambitking's avatar

You’d be starting at a salary that took you some time to get to at the old company right?

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t get it. Why would you take a job where you had to haggle to get them to give you as much as you get now, plus you have a lower job title?

If this company wanted you, surely they’d want to pay you more than you currently get? Why are you even considering this?

cayenne111's avatar

@wundayatta Because it’s a better company overall than my current one.

@gambitking I’d be starting at a salary that took me…not too long to get at my current one. I advanced hyper-fast at my current company because of people leaving.

mowens's avatar

What industry? In mine, I am an Assistant Vice President, however, if I make a lateral move to another large company in town, my title will be consultant. If I go to another, my title would be Specialist. Make sure the new company has the same structure.

Companies never know what to call IT people anyway.

Rock2's avatar

If you are only going to make the same money and a lesser title, why take the job. Hold out until a better job comes along. You don’t want to have on your resume that you change jobs every two years.

keobooks's avatar

Oh, btw, I know in many corporate offices, the titles are arbitrary. What’s really important is the amount of experienced required for the job. For instance, if I took a job somewhere that required a Masters degree and two years of experience and then I took a job that required only a bachelor’s and was entry level, it would be a step down.

In my own field, sometimes a step down in a title is actually a step up. If I were the head librarian of a tiny farming community, I could put down “Library Director of Tinyville” and all of the professionals would know that was a “Librarian V” position in my State, needing only two years of college. But a few years later, I could be an assistant librarian in the main town and that job would be a “Librarian III” and would require a masters degree and at least one year of experience – because the town is bigger.

So “Library Director” would look more impressive than “Assistant Librarian”, but anyone hiring in my field would know being head honcho in the farming community library was a lower ranking job than an assistant in the very large city.

I wouldn’t go by titles. I would go by experience required and responsibilities.

ftp901's avatar

Since you’ve only been out of college for 2 years, you don’t have that much experience and therefore, not that much negotiating power (unless you’re some kind of genius). If I was the hiring manager I’d be thinking “who do you think you are?” if you asked me for the job title AFTER getting your way with the salary. People work for years/decades to move up the ranks like that and you’re expecting it in 2 years. I think you should just take it and be grateful. You were a big fish in a small pond and now you’re a medium sized fish in a large/better pond.

Alinajones's avatar

Just like salary and benefits, a title is a negotiable aspect of a job. Not only does a title convey your status and responsibilities, it impacts how you’re viewed by your colleagues and customers.

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