Solution Saturday: I’m a Junior Manager but Should be a Director

Solution Saturday: I am a junior director but I should be a director

Dear Dan,

I hope you can help me with my question. This is related to the impact of job titles / levels in companies while you are trading. I would like to hear your comments on this.

I am a young professional working in sales for one of the largest in the world (Description deleted). Our goal is B2B.

I believe that job titles should be the same level or the same level of the person who is your counterpart partner.

Imagine that you are a salesman with a junior level job title as a junior sales manager, but you deal with a key account, but your partner has a purchasing manager.

Do not you think that will hurt your reputation with this client?

Thank you very much in advance.

Junior Sales Manager

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Dear Junior,

You may be surprised at the frequency with which I receive e-mails regarding job titles. On one side, we would like to say that a title does not matter. However, the titles have an impact on our reputation within an organization. And, as you indicate, they give an impression to people outside of the company.

Your concern for the customer is important. However, this seems to be a bigger problem.

Let's not beat around the bush. I believe you are looking for fairness of treatment. Yes, customers are a factor, but not the heart of your concern.

Status and respect are important and a title is a symbol of both.


You wrote: " Do not you think it will hurt your reputation with this client?" It's a guiding question. The supposed answer is, "Yes."

It is obvious that you have made your decision. I suggest you approach this issue with more openness.

How could you approach this situation as a learner and not as a connoisseur?

Open questions begin with "What" and "How". The guiding questions begin with "Do not" and "Do not do it".

If you can be open to the possibility that you have room to grow, others will be less on the defensive and more open with you.

3 questions regarding job responsibilities:

Are your professional responsibilities equal to those of your partner? Does any of you have direct reports, for example?
Is this key account an exception for you, but normal for your partner? In other words, does your counter partner manage more key accounts than you?
Is the difference in title associated with performance? How do your overall numbers compare to the performance of your organization's managers?

If you and your counterpart partner are doing exactly the same job, how are you going to navigate the injustice?


Suppose that your concern to be "Junior" is legitimate. You have the same responsibilities, workload and achievements as your counter partner, but a lower title. Suppose you deserve the title of director.

Express your aspiration:

Ask your boss, "How can I win the title of director?" But, do not make a big deal about it. Do not run around the office telling everyone that you are shooting a director's title.
Raise your performance. Do the work of a director. You could ask your boss, "What income point would I earn the title of director?" (Be advised that there may be several factors, not just the income.)
Do not complain about your partner's title. When you complain about your partner's title, you insult the person who gave them the title.
Document your accomplishments so you can bring them to performance conversations. Remember not to tear others apart.
Do not let disappointments roll you back. Iniquity drives us to retreat. We say, "It's not fair, I'm going to punish the organization by backing up." It's the worst thing to do. You will not go forward by pulling back.
Look for new challenges and opportunities in your business.
Use your achievements to find a new position outside your company. If you do not deserve the title you deserve, look elsewhere. (Do not forget to continue to give great results where you are.)


The titles come to us after we do the work.

You win a title because you have already demonstrated that you can do the job.

The titles provide validation. They also provide more authority. But, to win the title, you already fulfill most of the job requirements.

Do not expect to be a director if you do not already do most things that a director does.


Do not minimize your counterpart to raise you.
Stay positive when things do not go the way you want. Successful leaders learn to practice optimism even when they take bitter pills.
Keep a recognition journal. Keep track of the things you like in your job.
Express gratitude to others.

The aspiration is healthy and useful. I wish you the best.



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