Name My Job!
January 13, 2004 8:47 PM   Subscribe

Create-a-job-title (MUCH more inside)

Job Titles: My significant other has been working for a service-based technology company for nearly two years. She's currently in the enviable position of moving from Project Management into a position built just for her AND getting to have a huge amount of input for her title. Unfortunately there are politics all around and she needs to be careful.

The duties of the position include:

Customer focused communications contact
Management of third party relationships (vendors, partners, etc.)
Training (operational & company wide), including new employee orientation & training
Reporting and Analysis (non-marketing)
Affiliate, retail and partnership program management
Identification, evaluation and analysis of new product opportunities
Phone system wrangler (call flows, routing, voice talent, etc).
Tier 1 Compliance

Political Issues: Many of these tasks and responsibilities overlap to some extent with the duties of the Marketing & New Business Development Director, the Marketing Associate and/or the Office Manager. The CEO of the company is very sensitive to this, but recognizes that these things aren't getting done or aren't getting done very well right now. A nice broad title like Operations Manager is problematic because the CEO does not want to create confusion with the Chief Operations Officer or any of the others.

Do any of you have suggestions on something with a little cache without stepping on a lot of toes? Creative titles encouraged, but they have to be approved by the conservative female republican CEO.

Thanks for your input.
posted by answergrape to Work & Money (18 answers total)
Something with "Liaison" in it might work.
posted by kindall at 8:56 PM on January 13, 2004

"Logistics" has a snappy ring to it. From the sound of it, it seems like she's going to have to be juggling a lot of loosely-related things simultaneously. Using that word would sort of capture how many hats she has to wear throughout the day, without being overly showy (IMHO).
posted by contessa at 9:32 PM on January 13, 2004

I should clarify that I endorse the word "logistics" being in the title, not the whole title itself.
posted by contessa at 9:34 PM on January 13, 2004

Director/Manager, (Internal) Communications
Director/Manager, Internal Processes
Director/Manager, Corporate Development
"" , Business Processes
"" , Customer and Vendor Programs
"" , Corporate Programs
Chief Workflow Officer (CWO)
posted by vacapinta at 9:39 PM on January 13, 2004

Just wondering -- where does she fit in the organization now - does she report directly to the CEO, or is there a layer of management between her and the top, or is it some other arrangement? I'm guessing it's the last option, or else there wouldn't be any need to strike just the right tone w/ the title. That's why I am presupposing that her title ought not include "Director-" anything since those people might technically be ahead of her in the food chain. Also, deliberately leaving the honcho words out might be a clever move, if she intends to stay there for a while and has ambitions of moving up in the future (e.g. room to grow). (However it might have the effect of under-representing her contributions, if she ever left before that point.)
posted by contessa at 9:56 PM on January 13, 2004

Response by poster: contessa - good catch. 'Director' would be a hard sell for a variety of reasons. There is only one Director, and it seems the title is being phased out.

She's currently reporting and will continue to report to the Chief Operating Officer. However, the new position will interface more with the CEO and she'll be heavily involved in high-level decision making with said Director and the Officers.

A 'Manager' title would be much easier to sell if it had the right qualifiers. 'Logisitics' seems an interesting option as does something with Corporate Development.

Thanks for the input so far and keep the ideas coming.
posted by answergrape at 10:27 PM on January 13, 2004

From the description of her duties, it sounds like something with the word "saint" in it might fit. I like vacapinta's Manager of Corporate Development or Corporate Programs. It seems to me that the title really must reflect two things: a high-tier position, and the fact that her responsibilities are wide-ranging. And no matter how happy she is with her company right now, anything can happen, so it should be a title that will be an asset should she be forced to find another position: a title that is too creative simply for the sake of sparing feelings will not help her in such an event. What you really want to avoid is the appearance of a title having been given in lieu of a raise, for example, or a title that appears to have been endowed simply for effect. Many businesses, for example, give almost everyone an impressive sounding title, so that when they are speaking to a customer, the customer feels that they are talking to "somebody important at the company".
posted by taz at 10:41 PM on January 13, 2004

By the way, just as a related anecdote, I once had a job wherein the responsibilities that I eventually accumulated were ridiculously under-represented by my job title, so I screwed up my courage and asked for a title that I didn't actually think I would get, since it was completely unprecedented. But I did get it, and it's true that other employees were sort of looking askance at this development for a few weeks, but I handled that as smoothly as possible, and just waited for the shock to wear off, which it soon did. It wasn't easy for me to ask, but it turned out to have a major positive impact on my continued career, and probably represents the best 15 minutes of brass and bravery I ever invested.

In this case, your S.O. already knows that the CEO is especially concerned about sensitivities surrounding this issue, so clearly she must tread carefully, but I don't think she should err on the side of being too humble, either. If she decides to ask for a title that she would be happy with and that does a good job of reflecting her true position, it would probably be wise to have a persuasive and logical argument prepared to support her choice. (Which is what I did.)
posted by taz at 11:15 PM on January 13, 2004

we have something similar in my firm, but without the political sensitivity that you have to consider. Anyway, my two cents worth - Alliances Program Manager, or Relationship Manager.
posted by kev23f at 2:24 AM on January 14, 2004

needs to chop off a few duties there i think.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:38 AM on January 14, 2004

What's the importance of having a title? Seriously. For a number of years, my card read "Bit Banger". Even though "Senior Software Architect" was more conventional, "Bit Banger" gave more of the feel of what I did on a daily basis.

"Corporate WD-40" seems to be what the job is. It's the lubrication that makes the corporate gears turn smoothly.
posted by plinth at 3:12 AM on January 14, 2004

What you really want to avoid is the appearance of a title having been given in lieu of a raise, for example, or a title that appears to have been endowed simply for effect.

You also want to avoid a title that becomes a shit magnet for jobs other people don't want to do but are implied by the new title. E.g. I thought communications to start with but it might be a bit too general.
posted by biffa at 3:54 AM on January 14, 2004

You know what? If the CEO is so sensitive about the title, he or she needs to come up with it him or herself, and announce it as well. I would not allow my CEO to be able to say, "Well, we agreed on the job duties, but the title was her idea."
posted by pomegranate at 6:13 AM on January 14, 2004

i liked manager of corporate development, BUT if you use one of the suggestions that have "Development" in them i guess you could also replace the word Developement with Advancement, so she wouldnt share a word with the "Marketing & New Business Development" person, thus being political.
posted by yeahyeahyeahwhoo at 8:05 AM on January 14, 2004

The job responsibilities sound a lot like what I did before. I was called the "Business Manager." Fit nicely between the COO, Office Manager, Marketing, and HR. I also had a similar role in another place and they called it the "General Manager." (Most GMs tend to have more sales responsibility than I did, though).
posted by cyniczny at 10:49 AM on January 14, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for all of your suggestions. While my SO liked quite a few, these are on the short list and were sent for the higher up's consideration:

Logistics & Corporate Development Manager or Corporate Development & Logistics Manager
Corporate Development & Vendor Relations Manager
Manager of Customer & Vendor Programs
Corporate Development & Logistics Liaison
Corporate Development Manager

Again, thanks!
posted by answergrape at 1:00 PM on January 14, 2004

"Senior" is good in a title.
posted by Vidiot at 6:36 PM on January 14, 2004

logistics liaison is unacceptable. just my 2 cents. but it doesn't make any sense. unless you mean she is the liaison between development and logistics, which is also weird.
posted by rhyax at 9:38 PM on January 15, 2004

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