The best I can come up with is "Random Crap Coordinator"
May 2, 2014 9:33 AM   Subscribe

I need a job title! I've been working for a company for a little over 14 months and need a name for what I do. We are not so organized that anyone's given me a title and even if the correct answer is "Make your boss give you an official job title", I'd like an idea of what to aim for.

I work part time and do all of the payroll, commissions, some state licensing paperwork, some HR stuff like termination and new hire paperwork, some travel arrangements, and some bookkeeping. I do lots of excel recordkeeping. In the past year I've also been a legal assistant here (mostly emailing letters to lawyers - forwarding claims and checking up on claims), been in charge of reconciling all of the bank accounts and finding all the plentiful errors and trying to help correct them. I was hired because the old bookkeeper was stealing all of the money and I helped figure out how much she took and how. I do a lot of emergency tasks - "OMG, we got all these letters saying we didn't pay taxes, can you figure that out?", "Why is our balance in the computer always tens of thousands of dollars off from what the bank says it is?" I'm currently teaching myself QuickBooks because soon I'll be doing all the bookkeeping, deposits and bill paying. Also, they have me do some not great graphic design, like business cards, fixing the new logo in photoshop and marketing postcards. I also am the backup for the guy who runs reports and takes payments when he's on vacation or sick. Note: I am not trained or particularly qualified to do any of these things, I've just been kind of (barely) trained by people leaving their jobs and have been teaching myself. I'm not a manager, but I don't want to be called an assistant either, although part of what I do is definitely Admin Assistant for the CEO/Owner. I don't do all of these things anymore, but I've done all of them for various amounts of time in the past year. I pretty much make no money, but I can come and go whenever I want or work from home as long as I get payroll done. (Also, I now have a job to put on my resume from the 2000s. I was a stay at home mom from 1999 - 2013. I would like to know what to call that job.)
posted by artychoke to Work & Money (15 answers total)
I think you'd probably open the most doors by calling yourself the "Office Manager."
posted by juniperesque at 9:41 AM on May 2, 2014 [11 favorites]

Office Manager or Office Coordinator, if they don't want to give you a manager title. You could also legitimately be called an Administrative Assistant - I'm an Executive Assistant and I do most of those things. I know there is a stigma attached to that title by some people, though.
posted by something something at 9:43 AM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Office Manager - that's my title, too, and I do a very wide range of things like you do. You could go fancier with Operations Manager, I suppose, but given your casual status Office Manager might make more sense. I don't think it matters that you're not managing people in terms of the 'manager' title.
posted by sabotagerabbit at 9:55 AM on May 2, 2014

The euphemism for this kind of work these days is "Operations." It sounds a little more impressive than "office." I'd ask to be called the Operations Manager. Even if you don't have any subordinates, you do manage quite a diverse set of things for this company. I think the title would be appropriate.
posted by Colonel_Chappy at 9:55 AM on May 2, 2014 [5 favorites]

Office Manager. You could also err on the side of what you do with the majority of your time - Payroll Manager, HR Coordinater, etc.

I don't really agree with using Operations Manager, because what you're doing is not (I'm assuming) organizing or implementing or delivering the company's main product to clients; rather, you're doing back-office stuff.

If you're doing that much work, don't let them skimp out on giving you a "Manager" title - when you're the person organizing all of those tasks, you're the person keeping the place running. You may not be able to get any salary bump out of a "prestigious" title, but you can use it for a salary bump with future employers.
posted by vignettist at 10:07 AM on May 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

Another vote for Office Manager.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:33 AM on May 2, 2014

Nthing Office Manager, and make sure it's "Manager"; other titles sound junior (assistant, specialist, coordinator).
posted by sfkiddo at 10:58 AM on May 2, 2014

Office Manager.
posted by radioamy at 10:59 AM on May 2, 2014

Director of Operations (if you think you can swing being a director)

I once had a job much like yours (no legal, though) where I was the Administrative Director.

The most useful (in resume terms) job title I ever had was 'Special Assistant to the CEO'.
posted by anastasiav at 11:23 AM on May 2, 2014

You say you're "not a manager". I assume that means you're not supervising other employees, and you don't have anyone reporting to you.
You can still be "Office Manager" because you're managing the tasks of keeping the office running, you're managing office operations. In this context if there's nobody who's managing you, then that means you must be "the manager".

If that makes you uncomfortable, consider asking your boss. Since I assume you're writing a resume rather than making business cards, it can be tricky to lead into the question, but I'd consider writing an email:
"Hey boss, A friend asked me the other day what my job was, and I was telling her all the stuff I do, but I realized I don't really have a job title. She said it sounded like I was an "Office Manager" (or whatever your favorite title is) but I might have said "Administrative Specialist" (or whatever your second-favorite title is). Which do you think is closer?"
Depending on the office, you might just ask verbally over coffee; especially if you think it would turn into a brainstorming session that gets you an awesome title, or if you'd like to get some realtime feedback on whether the idea of calling you 'office manager' makes the boss a bit surprised/uncomfortable. On the other hand, having a written email from the boss that says "yes, I call you the office manager" would be a nice CYA move.
posted by aimedwander at 12:11 PM on May 2, 2014

Don't say office manager. Based on my experience with titles that makes me think of the physical space - rent, and in some companies cleaning whiteboards, ordering soda and snacks and restocking pens.

"All of the payroll, commissions, some state licensing paperwork, some HR stuff like termination and new hire paperwork, some travel arrangements, and some bookkeeping. I do lots of excel recordkeeping. In the past year I've also been a legal assistant here (mostly emailing letters to lawyers - forwarding claims and checking up on claims), been in charge of reconciling all of the bank accounts and finding all the plentiful errors and trying to help correct them."

This is an Operations Manager or Finance Manager.
Director of Operations if they'll let you have it (if no one supervises you, that's what you are).
posted by amaire at 12:16 PM on May 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

I vote for a title with Operations. What would you like to put on your resume? Operations Manager is modern and contextual. Operations Administrator is another alternative if your boss won't go with Manager. Director would be fabulous but difficult without any direct reports and given that you are part-time.
posted by Kitty Cornered at 12:25 PM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I suggest reading a few random job descriptions on for things like Office Manager and Operations Manager, with your geographical area filled in, and see what the common convention is in your industry and geography.

I would refer to the described role as an office manager, but that's only true for my industry and geography.
posted by grudgebgon at 7:32 PM on May 2, 2014

Thanks! Y'all are awesome. I'm thinking about all of these answers. The reason I'm not thrilled about assistant is because I'd rather focus on the payroll/bookkeeping side instead of the Executive Assistant because that's the part I enjoy more. Bizarrely, my boss, the CEO/Owner, calls herself Director of Operations, so I'm going to say that one's out. She lets everyone put whatever they want on their business cards, so it's sort of a Daily Show style free-for-all of Senior Portfolio Account Specialist Managers around here which would imply I can say I'm whatever I want. HOWEVER, I heard her on the phone talking to someone about a former employee and she said, "Well, she worked here but she certainly wasn't a manager. I don't know why she'd have put that on her resume - we don't even have managers." Even if she agrees to Operations Manager, who knows what she'd say if someone asked. (I don't have or need business cards.) I am updating my resume but not really quite ready to start sending it out - in a month or so, I'll totally know Quickbooks and be doing all the accounting so if I'm not happy at that point (or the whole business folds - things are looking up at the moment) I'll be more marketable and more obviously a Something Manager. I'm doing one application this weekend, though, which is why I asked. It's a sort of Dream Job ten blocks from my house. It does not have the awesome schedule I have now.
posted by artychoke at 9:45 PM on May 2, 2014

Pick whatever you want, including 'xxx manager'. Make it clear on your CV what you do, for the avoidance of doubt you could specify that your role is not supervisory. Have a conversation with your boss and explain that, based on the job descriptions you've been looking at to find a name for your role, what you do is often classified as 'xxx manager' so that would be the most appropriate term but as nobody is a manager in your organisation you'd like to make sure she's comfortable with that title.…basically get her to approve the title. This should reduce the risk of her denying that's your title as part of a reference.
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:04 PM on May 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older How can I bake or make bread without using my oven...   |   Tipping: Barbershops and hotels Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.