Titles sound good, but quality of your output matters more


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In the company that I work for, everything hinges on your job title. If you do not have a good title, most colleagues will not even respond to your emails. I have begged my boss for a year to give me a better title but so far, she has refused. How do I make it happen?

Titles are very important to most individuals because they confer status and are a symbol of the importance of their position to the organisation.

Titles are not just given arbitrarily since they have implications in terms of defining the level of the job in the organisation, which determines the grade and therefore remuneration and other employment perks.

They also determine the level of expectations the organisation demands from the job holder and vice versa.

This might also be a perception. Often, colleagues respect each other based on the professionalism demonstrated, the quality of output and the authenticity of information or reports, therefore, I understand why your boss is hesitant to change your title simply to influence others to respect you.

In an organisation, every role is important and contributes to the overall success of the organisation. If there is an issue like the one you have highlighted, then it stems from a culture within the organisation of demeaning colleagues who are not perceived as seniors due to their titles.

This should be addressed from a culture perspective to rally colleagues to value the contribution of each person irrespective of position or title.

This said, there are titles that may be perceived as demeaning, and if this is the case, then you should address it with your boss from that perspective. A few years ago, most organisations changed the title of Messenger to Office Assistant.

It seems you are happy with the other aspects of your job, why don’t you leverage on the positive whilst focusing on your deliverables? This way, you will either get promoted and get a job title change without having to beg for it, or get your colleagues to respect your office due to your output. You may also need to review your use of email, for instance, why not follow up your email with a call or walk to their desks? This is more effective and raises trust amongst colleagues.

For those colleagues who ignore emails that are relevant, you should consider escalating this issue with their managers through your supervisor since disrespect should not be condoned amongst colleagues.

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” wrote Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. It does not matter what your title is, what matters is the quality of your output and the value you give to the organisation.


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