Question: Is it important to negotiate a job title?

I have been offered a position by a larger organization in a similar, but enhanced role i.e. managing more people and increased responsibilities.

While I am getting better benefits and I am still a part of management team, my title is changing from "Head - Client Relations" to "Customer Advocacy Manager."

I am not particularly vain(!)... However, I feel this might reduce my market value to future employers. Maybe I am being oversold the role?

Your advice is much appreciated.

2 Expert Insights

Vanity aside, you might do well to think about the business impact of each title. What, for example, are the pros and cons of the two titles? What do they mean "externally" -- to customers coming to you to with their requests/complaints? (Banks have so many vice presidents, in part, because they know that their customers would much rather deal with a VP than a manager when it comes to their money.)

Consider what each title means "internally" -- within the organization, itself, as well? What responsibilities do similarly-titled others have? What differences in impact do they imply? What precedence is already in place regarding title-naming?

As Paul suggests, why not go for the title you prefer. But the more you can base your preference on a business-based justification (rather than just vanity) the better you'll position yourself for what you're after.

With companies increasingly "flatter" in their organization, (fewer middle levels on whole) titles have become increasingly less important over the past few decades as scope, scale other boundaries blur. What's important for you to consider is how you will be perceived both internally/externally (as you and Barry  have indicated).You have already mentioned that you will gain increases in several other metrics that you will be able to point to other than title. That said, there's no reason not to  negotiate a title that you feel would be more suitable i.e. Director/Manager. A side benefit is that you will probe on where the internal power lies (alliances, precedents, etc,) that may help you on-board in a more informed and savvy way or even negotiate upfront additional issues, obstacles.