One of the most difficult things to do in the corporate world is to make a significant jump in title. Companies are happy to hand out smaller increments, such as going from assistant manager to manager, or from manager to senior manager. However, the big jump in title -- and also in salary -- is making the leap from manager level to director level, or from director level to Vice President. In many companies, bestowing a director title on an employee comes with many add-ons:
Management of other employees and even entire departments
Autonomy to make business decisions and control budgets
Eligibility for bonuses and additional stock options
The problem for many people is convincing someone you are ready to make that jump. If you have been a manager at your current company for some time, it’s very easy for your boss to keep stringing you along with "We just don’t think you're ready yet, maybe at your next review" for months or even years on end.
If you go looking for a director level position at another company, it's much easier for them to hire someone else that already has director in their title, as opposed to taking a chance that you're ready to handle moving up a level. And the money on the line can be significant. According to online data, the median "Manager" position pays $85,000 nationwide, while the median "Director" position is $127,000 -- a difference of 50 percent.
Jim Hopkinson is an author, writer, and speaker living in New York City. His focus is on career development for the new economy, showing how new media, technology and branding are changing how people look at their career and lifestyle. Read more...