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Old 01.09.2020, 07:48
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Can employer change your job title?

Good morning,

I have a sneaky suspicion that my employer will change my job title in the near future, they have a history of doing this...

The potential new title sounds far less promising and will hurt my chances in seeking other work. If I am contracted permanently under my current job title, are they allowed to change it?

Thanks very much!
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Old 01.09.2020, 08:14
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

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Good morning,

I have a sneaky suspicion that my employer will change my job title in the near future, they have a history of doing this...

The potential new title sounds far less promising and will hurt my chances in seeking other work. If I am contracted permanently under my current job title, are they allowed to change it?

Thanks very much!
Of course they can change the title and even role if they have a valid and justified business reason... why wouldn't they be able to? Are they not allowed to re-organise and re-structure like many other companies do on a regular basis? Depending on the materiality of the change you may of course have to agree and sign a new contract and your other choice would be to not accept the change and resign.

I would imagine that your opinion of what a job title will do your future career prospects does not outweigh the needs of a company to make necessary changes to positions. If you really are concerned try asking them if there is any flexibility to amend the title to something a little more palatable.
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Old 01.09.2020, 08:42
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

What does your contract say? Mine said they reserved the right to change just about anything anytime they wanted.

Do you have a counter proposal? Something that both of you could live with?
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Old 01.09.2020, 09:25
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

Also confirm if this is a soft or hard change. You can have a different role within organizations commonly at an internal, department and generally informal level but this is fundamentally different if it is being changed at an HR level.

If it's not HR (contract) level then it really isnt a big deal you can cup of coffee it with your boss and see what happens. Your reference is always going to list your HR level position.

If its an HR change, then yes this is more significant as it can affect your grade (non cadre / Expert / Specialist etc) and of course your renumeration.
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Old 01.09.2020, 09:29
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

With all my respect... I never get why people care so much about the position title. It's just an internal position title! has the content of the position changed? if yes, then we are having a different conversation here and I totally understand your frustration. In line with Mikers comment above
But just a position title; might be many reasons (internal consistency across the org., businesses,... among others) and I wouldn't bother at all.
For both the internal / external point of view you are doing the same job... same accountability...and getting paid at the same level - you can keep your position title in LinkedIn so your profile is attractive to Headhunters - all depends on how good are you selling yourself.
Sorry... it's just my humble opinion... sometimes we care too much about position titles and our egos (not saying it's your case - just generalizing a bit)
Cheers!
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Old 01.09.2020, 09:45
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

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With all my respect... I never get why people care so much about the position title. It's just an internal position title!
It makes a major difference. My function level was that of a senior project manager at my previous employer, but my job title did not reflect it. While I was searching for work, I was approached by recruiters for roles I was way overqualified for since they didn't bother to read what I actually did in my role...it has followed me to this day.

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Depending on the materiality of the change you may of course have to agree and sign a new contract and your other choice would be to not accept the change and resign.
Could I request a severance? I can't afford to resign and also take several steps back in my career...
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Old 01.09.2020, 09:46
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

In a previous life I had a job which involved meeting and negotiating with people in other companies. Some times people with titles of Vice President and similar. In my company my title (which wasn’t very descriptive of my responsibilities) was something like senior analyst...

Over coffee I discussed this with my boss who had expressed irritation about being ‘bothered’ by some of my contacts involving things that I had the means to resolve myself.

So we agreed I would have an in house title (Senior Analyst) and an outhouse title (Senior Manager). Everyone was happy, I was also congratulated on my promotion by a number of my contacts.

On my CV I always used the outhouse titles as I felt that they better reflected my authority and responsibilities.

YMMV
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Old 01.09.2020, 09:48
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

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So we agreed I would have an in house title (Senior Analyst) and an outhouse title (Senior Manager). Everyone was happy, I was also congratulated on my promotion by a number of my contacts.
Good idea, I really wish I had done this at my previous employer.
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Old 01.09.2020, 09:51
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

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It makes a major difference. My function level was that of a senior project manager at my previous employer, but my job title did not reflect it. While I was searching for work, I was approached by recruiters for roles I was way overqualified for since they didn't bother to read what I actually did in my role...it has followed me to this day.
Not very professional recruiters if they do not take the time to read and they only filter by position title - I would move away from those to be honest, both as an employee and employer.
I can honestly say it does not make a major difference for most of HR professionals. You can be a Director on a small Company, which is comparable to a Manager in a big organization... and I can ensure that many Managers in big organization make way more than Directors in small org. it's all about the position description (scope, accountability,...) not the title.
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Old 01.09.2020, 09:53
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

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In a previous life I had a job which involved meeting and negotiating with people in other companies. Some times people with titles of Vice President and similar. In my company my title (which wasn’t very descriptive of my responsibilities) was something like senior analyst...

Over coffee I discussed this with my boss who had expressed irritation about being ‘bothered’ by some of my contacts involving things that I had the means to resolve myself.

So we agreed I would have an in house title (Senior Analyst) and an outhouse title (Senior Manager). Everyone was happy, I was also congratulated on my promotion by a number of my contacts.

On my CV I always used the outhouse titles as I felt that they better reflected my authority and responsibilities.

YMMV

Exactly what I am referring to - pragmatic approach that kept all happy
Again, the position description has not changed... but title for those that care about it (externally) rather than internal (to maintain internal consistency)

Cheers!
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Old 01.09.2020, 09:53
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

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Not very professional recruiters if they do not take the time to read and they only filter by position title - I would move away from those to be honest, both as an employee and employer.
I can honestly say it does not make a major difference for most of HR professionals. You can be a Director on a small Company, which is comparable to a Manager in a big organization... and I can ensure that many Managers in big organization make way more than Directors in small org. it's all about the position description (scope, accountability,...) not the title.
Unfortunately too many people look at these titles only and then your CV gets binned
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Old 01.09.2020, 09:54
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

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On my CV I always used the outhouse titles as I felt that they better reflected my authority and responsibilities.
I suggest this approach too.

My titles have been dancing in the past 4 years as our group kept changing, but I just keep the one (on CV and Linkedin) that best depicts my activities throughout.
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Old 01.09.2020, 10:14
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

How many people actually know what your contract says or bother to check .

A good friend of mine has a very junior role but for some reason was sent into a hot meeting with some much more senior people from the customer side . She bluffed her way, pretending to be much senior than she was, and obviously made such a credible impression that to this day some people on the customer side think that she is actually the boss of the guy who is in reality her boss, and she gets the more valuable presents and things .

The moral of the story here is that you are perceived as the person you act like , not the person your paperwork says you are .

In my career I have been restructured countless times including different job titles, but the work I did was exactly the same . I am not going to fill two pages of my CV with all the job titles I ever held but just pick the one I liked best .
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Old 01.09.2020, 10:21
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

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The moral of the story here is that you are perceived as the person you act like , not the person your paperwork says you are .
You do realize that during the recruitment process at new companies, you are just a person on paperwork? And that your official reference states your actual job title and not the one you want to have...
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Old 01.09.2020, 11:02
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

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It makes a major difference. My function level was that of a senior project manager at my previous employer, but my job title did not reflect it. While I was searching for work, I was approached by recruiters for roles I was way overqualified for since they didn't bother to read what I actually did in my role...it has followed me to this day.



Could I request a severance? I can't afford to resign and also take several steps back in my career...
Request a severance? I'm confused to know where to begin... why would the company give you a severance package for resigning over a job title dispute? The mind boggles at the logic that goes behind this kind of question.

Also, you obviously do not have to write your specific old job title, word for word, on your CV, especially if it does not even adequately describe what you did. You can use an alternative and more general descriptor if you choose.
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Old 01.09.2020, 11:09
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

It seems where I am, I have a job title that I can modify myself....that seems fair.

But to the outside, on LinkedIn and on my CV, my skills are laid out very clearly and go far beyond the abstract title I am given or give myself. This is probably the reason why I am regularly contacted by headhunters.

I don't see what the issue is....if I printed business cards, I would put on them exactly what I want to have.

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Old 01.09.2020, 11:25
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

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Could I request a severance? I can't afford to resign and also take several steps back in my career...
I don't think severance here would apply. But: If the change is "major" and requires you to accept a contract amendment, then your refusal to accept would require the employer to terminate you. Instead of you resigning. This might be important for the purposes of RAV.

The issue whether a change is "major" so that an amendment is needed can of course be debatable. I would argue that if they e.g. cut the word "Senior" in front of your title, this would be major.
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Old 01.09.2020, 11:39
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

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You do realize that during the recruitment process at new companies, you are just a person on paperwork? And that your official reference states your actual job title and not the one you want to have...
Last time I asked for an official reference, my then boss said, I don't have time. Write it yourself. At least the paragraph that says what you did. I did exactly that. He made some tweaks here and there, and HR added their HR-ish stuff of course, but by and large my boss signed off what I had written.

A reference letter is about what you did, not what your contract said that you were supposed to do.
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Old 01.09.2020, 11:46
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

Were you in Switzerland last time you asked for one? I'm sorry, I am not trying to argue, but official work certificates are issued upon job completion that states your job title and tasks completed. Your future employer will ask for this certificate during the application process...
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Old 01.09.2020, 11:48
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Re: Can employer change your job title?

You don't need a contract change for a job title change.


A contract change is needed only if changes like contractually agreed salary and benefits are changed, FTE is changed etc.


A job title is something that is related to the organizational structure but of course also effected by the latest corporate fashion.


Talk to your manager if you think that your job title doesn't match your actual work and also compare your job title with your peers.
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