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Wish You Had a Different Job Title?

written by: Bruce Tyson•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 8/3/2011

Requesting a job title change may be the answer to some of the problems you have at work. Without a correctly worded title, neither coworkers nor you will understand what you are supposed to do, resulting in confusion, poorly routed tasks and low productivity.

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    Change the Title, Not the Job

    When requesting a job title change, you must have one or more very good reasons for making the change. Large companies will be reluctant to engage the bureaucracy unless you can convince your manager that your title change request is profitable for the company. Smaller companies may have a tendency to suspect your intentions as an attempt to change the work you are doing or to do less work.

    Therefore, having a well thought-out proposal for a new job title is imperative. Be able to estimate how changing your title will route work more appropriately and how without that title you will continue to end up doing work that lower- or higher-paid employees should be doing. When updating your title, consider updating your job description as well.

    Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/EPConnects

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    Getting New Responsibilities

    When your manager asks you to take on new projects and tasks that are outside the purview of your present position (and not in your job description), consider requesting a job title change. This way your title will help communicate the shift in your role at the company. If your boss doesn't want to change your title, she may be fearful that you will expect extra pay to go along with it and the extra work you've been assigned.

    Even if your boss is reluctant to approve your request for a job title change, you get a sense of your current predicament. Look for reasons for why you are asked to take on new roles but asked to keep them quiet. Could it be that your boss wants to take the credit for the work you are doing?

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    Earn the Right to a New Title

    You don't have to wait until new responsibilities are put on the table to ask for a new job title: Be proactive. If you want to advance in your company or get a more impressive title, take upon yourself new initiatives that put your talents on display. By taking the lead to increase your value to the company, you not only better yourself over time, but you invite those around you to recognize your impressive contribution to the mission with the assignment of a job title change and a matching salary increase.

    After establishing yourself as a valuable asset to the company, sometimes the recognition will come too slowly, so requesting a job title change is the only way to make progress. When you do this, be sure to have all your ducks in a row with specific initiatives you have taken and how they have helped your company and your department. In effect, you can decide on your own promotion.

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    Don't Be a Whiner

    You can tell your boss that the new tasks you've been assigned don't come under your title or your job description. If the boss thinks that you're complaining, you'll likely get a new job title even if you didn't ask for it. Your title will morph into whatever it needs to be to get you to shut up and start working. In the end, this way of getting a new title may prove to be undesirable.

    Build your career armed with these pointers when requesting a job title change, and you will enjoy the results you get.