I’m job hunting, and I’m realizing that I am in a weird gray area of my career. I have 12 yrs management experience with e-com companies, and 5 years as a director.

It seems the only callbacks I’m getting are for management roles, and they are quick to admit that they don’t think they can afford me. But, the director roles want me to have more experience as a director.

Take a lower title/slight pay cut with the opportunity to advance quickly? Or hold out for a director title and salary?

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hold out. you’ll find something.


I guess what I’m afraid of is the risk of hitting a ceiling in a director role, and not having any advancement until a VP or C-level leaves or retires…any good advice there?

This depends on a couple of factors - the company, scope of position, and if they are in hyper-growth mode. Levels from company to company could be different. A Manager could have a wider scope of responsibilities and comp levels that match Director for a fortune 100 company. If the company is a startup or in hyper-growth mode, promotions could happen faster than more tenured and we’ll established companies. LinkedIn insights on company profiles are interesting. You can find the average tenure and growth data for that company, which can give you some insight or help you target the right questions to ask.

Does title matter most or the fastest path to senior leader roles?


Title doesn’t matter to my ego, my only fear is if it doesn’t work out then my resume says “manager” instead of director.

I’m seeing that the management roles I’m interviewing for have seemingly LOTS of flexibility and growth potential, whereas the director roles have a pretty rigid defined scope. I like the “choose your own adventure” feeling of these younger, hyper growth management opportunities. I feel like I could make an immediate impact. And, the pay is still comfortable. I wouldn’t be sacrificing much in the way of lifestyle.

However, so many people are encouraging me to hold out for director roles because I do have the experience and the credentials. I’m just getting anxious about being out of work much longer, and I’m also worried about hitting a ceiling in a director position.

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