What's my Job Title?
March 23, 2014 1:55 PM   Subscribe

Currently, I'm the "Office Manager" for a large, family-run restaurant that employes 170+ people. I am in charge of Design (internal/external, web, print, etc - this is actually what I have my degree in), limited PR (we have an external firm that I liaise with, I do all social media and PR asset management), Bookkeeping/Payroll/Accounts Payable, Limited HR (onboarding new employees, helping to create and maintain training materials, but no hiring/firing/discipline), IT/Tech Support, Project Management, Answering Phones/Reservations, etc etc... oh, and managing the actual office, too (ordering supplies, filing, printing menus, fixing the copier, what-have-you). I need a better job title.

I report to our General Manager and the Owners, and am considered "Senior Management" (I have one 'assistant' who.. sort of reports to me. She works on the days that I don't, and I have the freedom to assign her tasks.) I work about 55 hours a week and am on salary with benefits.

It's known to everyone that my job title is not a good descriptor of what I actually do; yesterday my boss joked that we could add "Sewing" to the tasks on my list (I had agreed to help a coworker with a quick sewing project) - because clearly I don't have enough on my plate. Har har.

I'd like to get an idea of what my job title COULD be (or SHOULD be) - I feel that when I tell people what my job title is, it in no way reflects the amount of work or responsibility that I actually have. I want to parlay a new and improved job title into something that will help me now, as well as later - if/when I decide to move on, I don't want to be passed over for jobs simply because "Office Manager" makes it sound like I was a secretary, and as much as I love the food industry, I don't want to be stuck here when it's time to make a change.

As I mentioned above, I have a BA in Graphic Design, which I do enjoy - but I'm also happy doing analytical work, and don't feel the need to work solely in my field of study. I've always thought I would make a great Project Manager at a design or ad agency, so I have considered asking to be re-titled as "Special Projects Manager" to aid on that front.

Another factor is that we are currently in the midst of a Strategic Planning process, which is going to involve some (much needed) restructuring of the management team. We will likely be bringing on a dedicated CFO/Controller, which will take the bookkeeping/AP off of my plate (they can have it, it's my least favorite part of my job currently). There has also been talk of creating a higher level "HR" position, which I will likely be considered for, if I am interested (I think I am). My boss loves to involve his staff in this process of position development and I'd like to be able to go into that conversation with a list of job duties and a great title to match, and walk out with a shiny "promotion" (and hey, maybe a raise!). They will likely be open to the idea of footing the bill for whatever (reasonable) further education or qualifications I can obtain to better fill whatever position I end up in.

posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total)
Senior Office Manager, Operations Manager, Business Manager and Office & Marketing Manager all sound appropriate depending on the mix of duties.
posted by michaelh at 2:06 PM on March 23, 2014

'Director of Operations.'
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 2:40 PM on March 23, 2014 [11 favorites]

Operations manager fits this perfectly, I think.
posted by ps_im_awesome at 2:41 PM on March 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

I'm also throwing my vote towards ___ of Operations. I've done similar work as job as an Office Manager, an Operations Manager and I've worked under someone who did it as a Director of Operations, because titles can be funny like that.
posted by sm1tten at 4:22 PM on March 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Came back to say that advocating for a 'Director' title will help later when you're looking to move on - having a 'Manager' title may undersell what you are doing. I agree that the tasks you describe could be done by an 'Operations Manager' but the key is that you are initiating them (not being assigned) and managing someone to get them done. In my mind that's the difference between a Manager and a Director role, especially since in my last company there was an 'Office Operations Manager' who did some of what you describe but was not empowered to make choices about what he did, assign others to complete work, etc. Every company is different -- sometimes, everyone is the director of something, sometimes, no one has that title, but it can't hurt to ask!
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 6:40 PM on March 23, 2014

How likely is it that you will want to make the switch to a project manager role at an agency? If that's something you see yourself doing soon, I'd vote for something in that direction. Senior project manager, maybe.
posted by three_red_balloons at 8:18 PM on March 23, 2014

Director of Operations or Director of Business Development.
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:18 PM on March 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Director of Operations?
Maybe Director of Business Operations (to differentiate food service operations)?
posted by trivia genius at 8:31 AM on March 24, 2014

Wow! You are me, I am you -- nice to meet you. I'm in almost exactly the same position except my restaurant is half as big, and my job responsibilities also include wrangling all the equipment and building maintenance. I'm going into my review in a month and was thinking of asking for a new job title along the lines of Operations Manager (changed from Maintenance Manager & Accounting Assistant, which is a terrible combo title that doesn't capture the half of it!).

In truth, no job title encompasses everything we're doing, but Operations seems the most appropriate fit. Good luck!
posted by jenmakes at 8:41 PM on March 24, 2014

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