When put beside each other, a title change pales in comparison to a promotion. Where a title change has all the tone of more work for the same old pay, a promotion on the other hand sounds very much like, well a promotion. Now you’re probably thinking, asking yourself how many times you have been ‘promoted’ when in fact; you just had a title change. Maybe you are also wondering what good that has done for your career advancement. And now you want to learn to look out for the next promotion that is really just a title change, and just how that affects you. In this article, we are going to see about Title Change vs Promotion.
A title change is simply defined as a change in your job summary. Your responsibilities have not changed, for the most part, your pay has very likely not increased, but you now have to print new business cards because your title in the company and on the CV has changed.
A promotion, on the other hand, is defined as being lifted higher in rank or being lifted to a higher position. You are climbing the cooperate ladder, to put it simply. Your title changes, your duties are altered and you almost definitely get a pay raise.
A title change is usually a redefinition of your roles in the company, without increased benefits while a promotion is usually a change in your roles in the company with increased benefits.
Title Change VS Promotion
True, a title change is not always promotion, as a matter of fact, it is usually not a promotion but more of a change in the summary of your roles in the company and oftentimes does not come with the benefits of an actual increase in rank but this does not mean title changes do absolutely nothing for your career. Where promotions certainly come with the added advantages of an increase in pay and a title change (most of the time), a title change does not often guarantee these. That is not to say a title change is without its merits or even that promotion is always a good thing. Sometimes a title change is called a ‘lateral promotion’ or ‘lateral move’, either term sometimes works better than ‘title change.’ These are used more often than a title change.
Differences and Similarities between a Title Change and a Promotion.
Before we discuss further, let us look at what sets a title change apart from an actual promotion. Of course, these differences and similarities are subject to each company or organization’s internal workings and the nature of your job but these are some general differences and similarities.
Differences between Title Change vs Promotion
Promotion involves a move to a higher ladder while a title change either involves no move or a move to the side but on the same level as before.
A promotion often includes an increase in pay while a lateral move usually does not.
A promotion, besides the pay increase, may also come with the increase in authority and added benefits while a lateral promotion does not.
Similarities between Title Change vs Promotion
A lateral move and a promotion do not have much in common and as we have said earlier, both are vastly defined by the nature of the job and the organization within which these moves take place but one thing they do have in common is a change in duties and responsibilities.
Whether your lateral move is from one department to another or you’re sitting in the same chair you sat in last Friday, your lateral move will involve some change in your duties. The same thing goes for an actual promotion up the ranks.
Career Advancement in a Title Change
A lateral promotion usually affords the employee the chance to acquire new skills and abilities, sometimes, while bettering their already acquired skills. The new responsibilities and duties broaden their experience and now they have a better chance at a career-advancing move than they did before.
In a lateral move as it has been explained, the new duties and responsibilities assigned to the employee are on the same level as the ones they formerly handled in the company.
Promotion is career advancement and a lateral move can facilitate this. A lateral move can facilitate higher promotions than you would normally be open to without the additional experience and skills gained in the lateral move.
Should I Ask for a Title Change?
Should you ask for a title change? That depends.
- If you have aspirations to perhaps, eventually become a manager, where you will be required to oversee different departments, a lateral is beneficial. This move would be from one department to another where the responsibilities are vastly different to be most beneficial. Or you could request a move to a different location if you aspire towards a regional management role or something similar.
- Variety, it is said, is the spice of life. And a lateral move provides variety aplenty when taken wisely. A promotion offers you the chance to take on new duties, offers new challenges but you will most likely be in the same department you have worked in. The adventure is limited. If you want new experiences in the workplace, you might want to consider a lateral move.
- You are already performing the duties of the position you are asking for. If you find that duties not formerly assigned to you have been assimilated into what you do, you may require a title change to reflect your new responsibilities. And to add new bullet points to your resume. You might be performing these duties for no extra pay but you don’t have to perform without compensation and if the new reflected abilities help you land a job with higher pay, who is to say no to that?
Which is Better?
This is the question that you are probably pondering now. Which is better? A lateral move, the exciting title change without the immediate increased financial benefits, or promotion that offers better finances and benefits.
Like we have said earlier, each job and company operates differently. We cannot tell you one is categorically better than the other, whether generally or for you in particular. Before deciding which move best suits you, you should consider all the pros and cons of each move about your career.
Before asking for a lateral move or a promotion, consider if you are ready for the move, whether sideways or upwards. Consider whether it will benefit you in the long run, there is no sense in making a move to advance you one year but stagnates you for another ten.
When you are offered either move, you don’t have to make decisions immediately. You can ask for time to deliberate, after all, a career move usually affects just more than the employee’s personal work life.
For an entry-level employee who hasn’t worked in a role for long, a lateral move where they are still supervised might be better than a promotion. However, for their superior, who has many years of experience, a promotion might be due.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a typical raise for a promotion?
For a promotion up the ladder, the pay increase is usually dependent on the company and the nature of both the former and new roles but within the same company, the increase is typically around 3% while a move to a different company is usually accompanied by a 10 – 20% salary increase.
- Can I ask for a raise for a title change?
If your new roles are more demanding than they were before the lateral move, any employee would expect some gratification for the increased workload. If you feel your new duties deserve a pay increase, this is something to discuss with your employers.
- Should I take a lateral move?
A lateral move as has been said earlier has its benefits. Taking a lateral move or not should be carefully considered for the merits and demerits of the move. But if you stand to gain more in the long run, a lateral move can be a good thing for your career.
- When should I ask for a promotion?
Whenever you think you have worked hard enough and are prepared for one. A promotion is best when you’re properly equipped for it because nobody wants a demotion or even worse, to be fired.
All in all, a title change could be a good thing but a promotion, with the accompanying pay raise, of course, is usually better. While achieving both of these would ensure that you do not remain stagnant in the fast-moving cooperate world, it is left to you to decide which of these to actively go after considering where you currently are and what you are aiming towards. There are times when taking a title change is the right move for a career and there are times when it is the only one available. There are also times when a promotion is not wise and there are times when one must actively go after the promotion, but always seek commensurate value for your abilities and choose which path offers a better road towards your goals.