Got approached by another agency (media) regarding a Director role. Somewhat nice client and benefits +30%, but when the offer came, salary and responsibility were as discussed but title downgraded to Associate Director. Hiring manager told me he got pushback against my years of experience, but they still went ahead with salary and task description of a director. Should I consider it?

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Hmm I don’t have the wisdom to tell you the right answer, but I can tell you what my thought would be. If they are offering a salary that you thought was fair for director but giving you a lower title that would put you in a better position for raises internally and when you move. Titles definitely open doors, but the money is what really talks

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Is the reporting structure the same as discussed? Will you have the same boss regardless of title? If everything stays the same except title, ACD1 is right: you’re actually in a better position.

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Keep in mind it’s unlikely (or impossible) you will be promoted in the first 12-24 months, so if the title bugs you that much you may be annoyed for a while. But the money sounds like it’s worth taking! Honestly, title inflation is so variable across different agencies that this shouldn’t hold you back from the right level in future jobs. I once “skipped” two levels with a job change because I was coming from an agency with a more flattened structure so had accumulated a ton of experience that hadn’t been reflected yet in my title. It sounds like sort of the opposite is happening for you… if this place is able to pay you 30% more at the same title, it probably means your title is inflated at your current place.

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If your job description has you performing at a director level that would give me pause to take a lower title, after a while you’ll get annoyed that you’re performing and expected to perform at a level above what you’re getting credit for

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Agree with AS. But it depends a lot on the agency. A few things to consider… 1 is that raises may actually be harder to get if you’re outside the AD band. Another is that even a promotion may come without a big bump because they’ll say you’re already paid like a Director. And 3rd is if you need to move clients, it may be hard for another account to take you on as an AD without hurting their margin. Though maybe that will be a reason to promote you to Director if you do well in your first role. On the other hand, a 30% bump in base is a good chunk o’ chock full o’ nuts. So maybe if you’re ok with it, no need to overthink it.

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Who cares about title. Take the 30%.

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Our of curiosity, how many years of exp do you have?

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Money money money, you work in media, plenty of jobs and opportunities to move up eventually. If it doesn’t work out move on because the next role you will have a 30% higher salary to start from. It’s hard enough to be in media and get that big jump nowadays as it’s becoming more commoditized and in housing.

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I think the bigger thing that’s being missed here is the red flag regarding a lack of transparency. They weren’t up front before making the offer, they just threw it at you in hopes the money would outweigh everything else. Is that where you want to work? I did this very thing once, and found myself in a miserable, toxic environment.

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