What is my job title and how much would you pay me?
September 12, 2017 12:05 AM   Subscribe

I work for a small company, doing all manner of business administration from renewing the PO box to configuring CRM. It’s all over the place. I need your brilliant ideas for when the new contract discussion starts.

I’m on half-time contract for a location-independent online business team. This is a group of really nice and talented people, mostly marketing and PR professionals, who have a lot going on and needed someone like me to come in and help streamline things. My main capacity is #1 to assist the CEO with whatever he needs in an effort to reduce the bottleneck, and #2 to identify and implement internal workflows and improve efficiency. I really like working for this team, the variety of the work, the problem-solving challenges that arise, the positive feedback, the nature of the people.

Things I do
* Conduct due diligence on potential new partners (e.g. we may work with this company; dig up what you can about them);
* Plan business events and travel (e.g. going to conference in Chicago, book flights, hotel, dinners, plan a team happy hour);
* Research and develop team tools, now including CRM solutions (and once decided, will probably configure and implement);
* Identify ways to improve processes; learn the tools; train staff as needed in the tools;
* Develop business processes (e.g. create and refine onboarding processes for new team members and clients, identify and implement approval processes);
* Develop training materials;
* Develop a shared team resource library and collaborate with other team members for source materials;
* Arrange for company gifts;
* Plan quarterly online meeting;
* Create and maintain online business accounts;
* Provide company founder and CEO with support as needed (this could be researching and buying a new desk, new headphones, a laptop stand, etc), anything to free up more time.

What should this job be called? Can you point me to any established job descriptions that more or less match?

I feel valued in this position, but I am seriously underpaid for what I’ve ended up doing. I thought it would be a few months of straight simple admin work and the position has rapidly transformed since I started. I showed I could do much more and we just ran with it. Scope creep? What I’m being paid doesn’t at all match what I’m doing. Could be that the boss recognizes my worth now that he’s seen me in action. But perhaps not. I want to be prepared. I’ll have the opportunity to articulate my position and lobby for an appropriate job title and pay to match it (this is one of the things I’m rather terrible at). Most likely continuing as half time. Contract or staff is undetermined.

FWIW, the other half of the time I’m a Salesforce Administrator and sometimes a freelance copyeditor. I’d very much like to cultivate this location-independent thing so someday all I need is a laptop and a fast connection.
posted by AnOrigamiLife to Work & Money (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm the Executive Assistant to the CEO of my company and that is pretty much my job description. If you tack on "to the CEO" at the end of the admin title it really increases the salary, in my experience. I feel I am very well compensated. I do work for a very large multinational corporation, though, which doubtless makes a difference.

I know a lot of people don't like to have an admin title as they progress in their career, but it would be accurate in this case. Most EAs to C-level people are not just answering phones and making travel arrangements.
posted by something something at 12:20 AM on September 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

If you put the list above on your CV I'd probably mentally condense it to:

* administrator / executive assistant (travel, calendars, hospitality, accounts, CRM tools, internal docs, support CEO, general admin)

You're an administrator or an executive assistant or the former with a bit of the latter.

This can be a highly-paid role (particularly if you're more XO than EA in a big company or have good experience in a specialised area - eg law firms, medical companies, accounting and assurance firms), but it's not a highly-paid role part time for a small online sales company that could be anywhere.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:32 AM on September 12, 2017

You are doing the sort of work that my Virtual Assistant (VA) is doing for me remotely. I agree that you are most likely the EA to the CEO.
posted by kariebookish at 5:24 AM on September 12, 2017

That's not what the EAs I've placed do. I'd call that more like a manager... like "Manager, Administration & Logistics" or "Administration Manager"
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:05 AM on September 12, 2017

Best answer: Developing business processes and CRM stuff seems a bit out of the realm of just EA/admin stuff. Your role sounds more like an Operations Manager.
posted by windbox at 6:22 AM on September 12, 2017 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Indeed, I was looking at your description of your duties and thinking that you are as much an operations manager as an executive assistant. Given that you report directly to the CEO, your position sounds a lot like that of a Chief Operating Officer (COO). I'd push more in that direction than the EA direction, since that's a career track that normally has a lot more earning potential.

You might also think about what parts of your duties you like best, and work towards emphasizing those when you formalize your job description. You are indeed doing a weird hybrid of personal assistant and operations work, and if you want to keep doing this stuff long-term, eventually for another company, you'll want to make sure your duties are in line with the kind of career track you want to pursue.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:14 AM on September 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Office administrator? No idea about salary. Ask yourself what they'd have to pay to hire and train other people to do all your tasks.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:42 AM on September 12, 2017

Best answer: I think it will be challenging to avoid having "Admin" in your title, just try and get it not-first. A few ideas: Manager of Administrative Operations, Manager of Executive Administration. You also seem to have a lot of project management in your description, you could potentially swing for a Project Manager, Executive Project Manager, Manager Special Projects -type title.

One issue you might find is that your company could have salaries tied to job titles and they are standardized, so you may not be able to have "Manager" in your title at all. It's so frustrating because it's obvious that you manage a lot of things, but it's an HR based limitation. If you get that kind of feedback, you can offer to have an internally-facing job title and an external job title. A lot of times, people in positions like yours have greater success with the external world with a better title in their sig file, even if it's not an internal HR-approved title. That's a thing to bargain for if they balk. "Our customers, vendors, and others will respond better to my inquiries if my job title reflects my authority."
posted by juniperesque at 10:06 AM on September 12, 2017

Response by poster: This is very useful, thank you! Agree that it certainly is in part EA, and that developing business processes and configuring CRM (and other business tools) extend beyond that realm. Lately I've been about 20% EA and 80% process improvement. I'm problem solving and introducing efficiencies by expanding the functionality of the tools we have, and also considering what else is out there that will serve our needs.

Please keep your suggestions coming, and if you have any sense of what you would pay a person who does this, please do share!
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 10:07 AM on September 12, 2017

Office Manager. (which seems odd since you're all online, but that title fits).

Business Administrator.

₹ 200,000 / 30,000 BRL / 50K US$
posted by at at 10:43 AM on September 12, 2017

Best answer: Agree this is primarily Operations Manager, Business Admin, or COO territory.
posted by ananci at 11:33 AM on September 12, 2017

Best answer: "Research and develop team tools, now including CRM solutions (and once decided, will probably configure and implement);"
"Identify ways to improve processes; learn the tools; train staff as needed in the tools;"

In many companies, this is a job unto itself. If you are managing a CRM and going to be the one configuring, implementing, and managing the data governance, my guess is that a fair salary in a location like Chicago would be at least $90,000.

The rest of the duties sound very much like what an Administrative Assistant typically does and the salary would be a bit lower, maybe $75,000 for someone with many years of experience or $50,000 for someone just starting out.
posted by parakeetdog at 3:25 PM on September 12, 2017

Response by poster: Operations Analyst was the winner, thanks everyone!
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 8:25 AM on February 18, 2018

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