what's in a name (or a job title)?

It’d be nice to see any prior or new discussions about job titling in the design dept.

For example- Is there really a difference between the title of Junior Designer or Assistant Designer?

Does this hierarchy differ between various fields of design?

Does anyone out there have a grip on all this crazy titling?

Titles are only important within the company you work for. Most titles that have been created are more for the HR department to catagorize and rank the talent within the company. It also helps them to set your paygrade and assist in upward mobility if you’ve already maxed out your paygrade. At my previous company I had the title of carton design specialist which was a higher position than a senior designer. The position was made up to allow individuals to grow past senior designer without being assigned a manager title. The real problem was that carton design was about 30% of the type of work I was actually doing.

Now, I’m a packaging innovation and insights scientist and that title is schedualed to be changed mid 2011. Everything will remain the same, just the change in title. Most of the titles I’ve had in some companies do not correlate to positions in other companies. So it makes it difficult for recruiters or other HR departments to poach the talent from another company.

You really have to look at the job descriptions to decern any differences between the positions.

Titles in the end are not very important, what is important is what you do and what you can learn, and who you can influence.

Said the creative director at Frog. Kidding.

At my company we have assistant designers, lead designers, senior designers, design directors, and vp of design (in that order). But other companies may have different titles or rank them differently.

I think in most cases asst. designer and jr. designer are the same thing.

Your right :wink:

I should expand on what I meant a bit. I’ve worked with junior designers who had earned the ear of the CEO, and I’ve worked with design directors who had no ability to influence those above them or even below them… I love a nice juicy title as much as the next guy, but remember, no matter the title, you are still you, and even a design asistant can have a major impact. It’s what you do in the role.

Someone once told me to always try to be one title above your actual title.

That’s great advice. We all want to move onwards and upwards but you have to put yourself in that position first.

Do you think most promotions (in the ID world) happen when a position opens up (i.e. someone above you leaves or promoted)? Or are companies willing to promote someone even if nothing has opened up?

In my experience, something has to open up. But if you are already seen as someone who is trusted to do that job, the decision becomes a little easier.