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Insights: How and When to Ask for a Title Change

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Submitted by: WISE NYC Metro member | 0-6 years professional experience

How and when is it appropriate to ask for a title change? I've been at my position for about a year and a half and was originally hired as an Executive Assistant to a C-Level Executive. My role has expanded significantly to include three other VP Level Executives, the entire sports sales team, and event manager for all company wide events. I have a review coming up and I absolutely love this job and by no means want to infer that I'd like the change for my resume. However, I'd prefer my title to reflect more of the event management aspects rather than the Executive Assistant if and when the time does come for me to move on from this role. Is it appropriate to ask for this change?


I think the way to think about this is to consider what the bulk of your role focuses on. It looks like your role has expanded to have more people to support, but that you are fundamentally doing the same thing. The time for a title change is when your role is focused on one area most of the time — in which case it might also be a good time to look for a change in role within the company. So in your instance, are you spending 80% of your time in the role of executive assistant or are you spending most of your time organizing events? Most executive assistants organize events for the people they support, but their roles are still fundamentally executive assistants.

Once you’ve reached that tipping point, it’s a good time to ask. Changing your title before that can be problematic for any future employer if your title does not reflect what your role actually is; it could prevent you from getting a job with them. If you are ready to move on to a broader events role and feel you can offer your employer skills in this area, then perhaps that could be the focus of your conversation with your boss rather than just a title change.

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Jane Hollman

About Jane Hollman

Jane Hollman has more than 25 years experience in senior human resources roles at large multinationals and sports across Asia Pacific and the United States. Currently a career coach, she helps business leaders and university students think through their career paths. Hollman is passionate about creating flexible, innovative work places and mentors women looking to start their own businesses. She is also a freelance writer covering the business of sports for publications such as Women Talking Sports.

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