5 Reasons to Take The Title

titleWhen I reached an age when I actually started to listen…a business mentor of mine gave me advise that has turned out to be some of the best I have ever received …and you don't hear it very often.

He said, Ken; "Always Take the Title"

So what did he mean?

His story went something like this. He had started his career with a very large, global consumer products company in an entry level sales position. He was successfully managing millions of dollars of business and had significant upward mobility opportunities with that company. As he looked towards the future, he had visions of achieving the highest of positions within that organization…but knew that the odds of sitting in the CEO desk were few and far between.

His plan… take the title. As he progressed through his career, he looked for professional growth through accepting higher positions with smaller companies. In a relatively quick time frame, he moved from that first sales position, to an area sale manager, regional sales manager, national sales manager, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, President and CEO… all within the same industry, but with much smaller companies. It finished with him being the founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of a company that he held a significant equity position in.

The lesson learned? This is an appropriate strategy at any age. However, as an employer of the younger next generation of employees, and as someone who works with many other employers that hire this millennial age group… it is especially beneficial for them. Encourage them down this pathway.

Look for opportunities to be promoted, even if it is an area that doesn't fully leverage your core strengths. And don't do it simply for the new name tag, uniform, business cards, prestige or raise it may bring.

Do it because it will stretch you, you will grow, and you will be prepared for future additional promotions. Do it because you want the challenge of additional responsibility. Do it because it sets up you for a lifetime of success. Just Do It!

It does not matter what age you are, or where you are in your work path. If you are a student in an entry level position, take any promotions opportunity that is available to you! Particularly at a young age, every new title can be leveraged to the next. Success comes one step at a time.

As you continue to "take the title" and own the responsibility, you will find that you will be presented with;

Opportunity Growth: With every advancement in position title, you are simply exposed to more professional development, industry education, peer networking, and inside knowledge. There is no quicker pathway for opportunity growth!

Income Growth: Higher positions come with the "opportunity" to increase your earnings, but….you have to be prepared to roll up your sleeves, go to work and earn it. Remember…you have to own the responsibility..

Industry Knowledge: You may be able to participate in industry associations, read publications, meet others from similar businesses. You will be able to make decisions not in a vacuum but through the lens of your own experience, combined with the best practices from others.

Leadership Access: With every step up the ladder, you get closer access to people in your organization, that you didn't have prior. These are people with influence and experience that you don't have. At every level, learn from them, let them mentor you and ask for their feedback.

Impact on Others: With every stepping stone of a promotion, you will have a greater ability to impact others. That is a tremendous gift and responsibility…to be in a position to have a positive impact on the lives of others. As you gain experience in people, job and communications skills, you will be positioned to serve others. When you can do that…the sky is the limit!

All of the above makes you more valuable. And if you deliver more value to your employer…you are simply more employable. You will have choices of where you work and will see steady increases in your earnings and opportunities.

Taking the Title and owning the responsibility worked for me. And I have dozens of stories of young employees we have hired in their teens, that have gone on to tremendous career success. If you asked them why, they would say they were always looking to move forward, even at a young age. It is an acquired habit that has guided their work life.

Has this strategy of "taking the title" worked for you, or others that you employ?

About The Author

ken whitingKen Whiting is an amusement park and attractions food and beverage operator, and industry consultant for improvements in F&B, retail and workforce productivity. Reach out with any questions or comments you may have at: