Tone Parsons

It’s all in how you define your worth

Today was my annual review at work.

The company is finally doing well again (we had some hard times and a lot of layoffs in previous years) and I was hopeful that I would get a reasonable raise. I did ok in that department (not exactly what I wanted, but within half a percent of it).

I also found out that they’ve changed my job title to more accurately reflect what I do for a living: from “Senior Applications Engineer” to “Solutions Engineer”.

You’ll notice that the “Senior” bit didn’t follow me to my new title.

It shouldn’t bother me. My duties are still what they were when I came to work this morning and I make more money now than I did when I came to work today… but it does. I feel like I’ve been stripped of my authority, that my value has somewhat diminished. I guess it’s all in perception.

I told them it didn’t bother me, but I’m finding after a little time to reflect, it does bother me… quite a bit. Of course, I’ll never say anything about it at work (that’s not my way) and will continue to keep doing what I do. Perhaps I’ll earn it back next year.

We’ll see.


2 Comments so far

  1. Eve March 25th, 2006 3:11 pm

    I agree with you. I know it is only a word, but that “senior” DOES define your position at work, if not with you, but with your peers. It says, experienced, someone to go to for a decision, a cut above.

    Yes, yes it IS only a word, but a word that says a lot. Clearly if they asked whether it bothered you, they did think about what losing it meant. You might want to say that you feel your title gave you some authority, and in the eyes of your workmates, it might look like a demotion of sorts (even if it isn’t). Do they expect you to still be the “go-to” guy? If they do, the Senior should stay.

    Just my 2 cents (or 1.5 cents if you do the currency conversion lol)

  2. Moe Flam March 27th, 2006 11:22 am

    I hear what you’re saying. Work at the same company, and my understanding is HR came up with titles last year, and we all had to be plugged in to our hole this review cycle. Also, its been explained to me, titles like ‘Solutions’ and ‘Analyst’ pertain to people that come up with answers, rather than just pushing out widgets every day. While this sounds BS’y, it also pushes you up the mysterious pay grade chart.

    I still think they have about 8 words with nerdy connotations, and they do the old dart-board trick. My title has changed 4 times in the 3.5 years I’ve been here, for basically doing the same thing.

    In the end, it still means I don’t have to buck hay bales to make a living (that cemented my value of a dollar).