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Negotiate Yourself Into A Better Career

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If at all possible try to negotiate for a title that is used outside of your company as well. Make sure it is a tile that "gives you credit" for the work you are doing.

Be warned that you are likely to be met with bewilderment and resistance when you suggest these changes.  The Human Resources department already has a job description, pay scale, and standard tests for the Secretary Position.   You will be coming from left field with something they don't yet have a system in place for if you want to change your job title to something else.  It's a good idea to help them out by typing up a proposed job description based on your current responsibilities. 

Be persistent in your quest for a title that reflects what you do - you will be carrying that title on your resume for the rest of your adult life and it can make or break your shot at the next job you want.  If there's an opening for a Graphic Designer, who do you think will most likely be considered, the Secretary or the Administrative and Graphic Support Specialist?

Last but Not Least, See if You Can Change Your Salary

Different titles command different salaries in the marketplace.  When you are first starting off with a new set of responsibilities, you just want a chance to do the work and prove yourself.  It's too early to talk money. Once you have done that, you look to have your title changed to more accurately reflect your contribution. Again, this is the wrong time to talk money.  When you have changed your title and have held it for six months to a year, it's time to discuss your salary with your boss.

Timing is everything on this one, don't rush into this conversation too quickly after having your title changed or you'll look like a pain.   Wait until your role in the company is a comfortably established fact, then look for an appropriate window for this conversation.  If you have a performance review coming up, this would be an excellent time to discuss salary changes.  Similarly, if a new supervisor takes over your department, you have an opportunity to talk with him or her about your position and what changes you hope to see.

When you do sit down to have this conversation, come prepared with facts and figures.  Hand your manager copies of reliable salary surveys that show the low, medium, and high ranges for your title.  If possible, provide figures for your state or  geographic region so there will be no question about their legitimacy.

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