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Name my job, please?
September 14, 2009 7:01 AM   Subscribe

I have the opportunity to select my own job title for my new position. Given these duties, what should my job title be?

Its a large public-mission nonprofit. I report directly to the CEO. My duties will include some administrative items related to the board meetings (including taking minutes), writing the content of the website and making sure all info there is up to date and correct (some evaluating usability, but no coding), coordinating an email newsletter as well as communication via Facebook and Twitter, and doing the bulk of the writing and layout for the print newsletter. I'm also taking responsibility for at least one large-scale special event, with a focus on recruiting and managing volunteers at that event. In addition, I will be conducting donor prospect research, and some work maintaining the donor database. (There is no development director, the CEO fills that role). I imagine, given the dynamic in the workplace, that there will be a limited amount of general administrative support for the CEO as well.

The last person to do this job called herself the "Executive Assistant" but that feels to secretary-ish to me. The CEO has suggested "special assistant to the CEO" but I would like something more descriptive of these wide and varied duties.

What would you call this job?
posted by anastasiav to Work & Money (30 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Outreach director?
Communications director?
Administration director?

Any of those would suffice. I would suggest, however, that you select a title that plays up those aspects of the job that are most appealing and career-central to you. That way it will benefit your resume when you seek the next position.
posted by DrGail at 7:06 AM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Executive Assistant. Don't get caught up in special titles; a really good EA is far more valuable and searchable on resumes than a fancy title that doesn't exist anywhere else.
posted by xingcat at 7:06 AM on September 14, 2009


There's no way I'd use "executive assistant" -- it simply doesn't cover the bulk of your duties. Titles that come to mind for me:

- Communications Manager
- Outreach Director
- Partnerships Director (The "partnerships" are the relationships generated by your donor outreach, communications to various audiences, the board, etc.)

Whatever you choose, keep in mind that you're doing this for your future jobs; the more impressive the title you can get now and put on your resume, the better it will likely serve you in the future.
posted by runningwithscissors at 7:12 AM on September 14, 2009


I was also going to suggest Administrative Director - you seem to be doing a combination of human resources, event management and public relations. So I think words like director, manager, administration and communication are all up for grabs.
posted by molecicco at 7:13 AM on September 14, 2009


Executive Communications Manager.
posted by Jairus at 7:16 AM on September 14, 2009


FYI: I forgot to add- I can't be a "manager" or "director" because I don't have anyone who reports to me.
posted by anastasiav at 7:18 AM on September 14, 2009


^^really? It sounds like it from your description - you even say that you manage volunteers, and will organize a large event.

Anyway, if you are sure that director/manager are out, then I would suggest Coordinator.
posted by molecicco at 7:23 AM on September 14, 2009


FYI: I forgot to add- I can't be a "manager" or "director" because I don't have anyone who reports to me.

Unless these designations are specifically reserved in your organization for those with direct reports, there is no reason why you can't take one of them on as part of your title. "Manager", in particular, is frequently used to describe an individual who manages things rather than people.
posted by DrGail at 7:24 AM on September 14, 2009


Unless these designations are specifically reserved in your organization for those with direct reports,

They are.
posted by anastasiav at 7:27 AM on September 14, 2009


Rather than special assistant to the CEO, how about communications assistant to the CEO or outreach assistant to the CEO?
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:31 AM on September 14, 2009


Communications executive?
posted by freya_lamb at 7:47 AM on September 14, 2009


Executive Communications Assistant.
posted by Jairus at 7:53 AM on September 14, 2009


Chief Communications Officer
posted by grateful at 8:02 AM on September 14, 2009


Can you be a coordinator? You sound like a Communications and/or Outreach Coordinator to me.
posted by bluedaisy at 8:06 AM on September 14, 2009


I came to say what grateful said: Communications Officer
posted by taz at 8:09 AM on September 14, 2009


oops - forgot: here's one description of such a job. Pretty matchy.
posted by taz at 8:10 AM on September 14, 2009


In marketing circles, the next step up the chain from "Assistant" is "Coordinator," so I'd go with Communications Coordinator or Outreach Coordinator. That will make it clear what your level of experience is when you go to look for new jobs in the future.
posted by decathecting at 8:14 AM on September 14, 2009


Actually, there are Executive Assistants that do all the things you mentioned, but even though that title can snag you many a job, it is not a title that lends itself to upward mobility or career advancement. I say this as a long-time Executive Assistant, who has great respect for the position, but also recognizes its limitations. Communications Officer or Coordinator would probably be your best bet. By the way, congrats and good luck!
posted by katemcd at 8:58 AM on September 14, 2009


I think if you'll be the main point person for information products (web, newsletter, prospect research, etc) and/or outreach, then it would be fair to call yourself Outreach and/or Information Coordinator.

Coordinator, to me, means that someone that is the first point of contact for those topics in an organization. You might not do all of the work related to those areas, but if you'll be fielding inquiries and directing folks to the appropriate employee as well as coordinating group efforts and generating content, I think coordinator fits well.
posted by clerestory at 9:06 AM on September 14, 2009


Quote: I'm also taking responsibility for at least one large-scale special event, with a focus on recruiting and managing volunteers at that event. In addition, I will be conducting donor prospect research, and some work maintaining the donor database.

Honestly, it sounds like you're a Senior Vice President of Development. No, I'm not kidding.

This is what they do - they just frequently have a staff of more than themselves to do it. But, if they ever hire you some help, that person or people *should* report to you. I say, push for it.
posted by Citrus at 9:16 AM on September 14, 2009


I know it's a little long for a business card, but I'm leaning toward a compound title: Communications and Outreach Coordinator.

But I think the best advice you've gotten on this board is the first one, from Dr. Gail -- keeping these suggestions in mind, think about where you want your career to develop, and let that be your guide. Think about maximizing the resume impact of this job title down the line. :o)

best of luck in your new job :o)
posted by leticia at 9:16 AM on September 14, 2009


Communications Director. You don't need to have anyone reporting to you to have "director" in your title.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:32 AM on September 14, 2009


Yes, don't use director unless you're on the board, and don't use manager unless you manage people directly. You might feel it's descriptive, but by using those words you'll confuse some outsiders who will then give you some rolleyes when they find out you're not a "real" director or manager.

"(Something) Coordinator" sounds right, and "(Something) Administrator" could work too.
posted by rokusan at 10:00 AM on September 14, 2009


Seeing Leticia's answer on preview: I second "Communications Coordinator".

(Communications includes outreach.)
posted by rokusan at 10:01 AM on September 14, 2009


  • Webmaster
  • Public Relations
  • Executive Assistant
  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Development assistant
  • Marketing assistant

  • Communications covers it well. It sounds like you will, in fact, be managing communications in several forms. The best alternative to Manager is coordinator.
    posted by theora55 at 10:32 AM on September 14, 2009


    and, Congratulations!
    posted by theora55 at 10:33 AM on September 14, 2009


    Without knowing how many years experience you have it is hard to say what "level" you are at from an experience standpoint.

    That said, everything you describe seems to do in large part with marketing/communications. Communications Specialist might be an option that doesn't make any implications in terms of years of experience.

    Coordinator is fairly low on the totem pole typically but if you only have a couple years experience that would be fine.

    To the person who said Executive Assistant is more valuable for having your resume come up in searches...I would play Devil's Advocate and ask whether that is something you WANT to come up in searches for. Depending on your career goals/aspirations, the Executive Assistant path might be too limiting in terms of responsibilities and pay. Whereas if you want to go more into communications, it is crucial that you have something with that in your title.
    posted by Elminster24 at 10:37 AM on September 14, 2009


    Information officer.
    posted by Iteki at 1:30 PM on September 14, 2009


    You described almost the exact job duties of my present employer's Public Information Officer.
    posted by Jacqueline at 1:41 PM on September 14, 2009


    Nthing Coordinator. It's accurately descriptive, understood to be mid-level, and doesn't sound inflated.
    posted by desuetude at 7:45 PM on September 14, 2009


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