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I'm not sure what my job is called.

I was hired in a small software house because I brought them many clients and proved my worth but I have no actual job title. Now I'm creating a LinkedIn profile (a bit late to the party) and I'm not sure what to put. My day to day is:

  • managing software projects: requirements elicitation, keeping stakeholders engaged, suggesting proper technology stacks, making work breakdowns in Trello, assigning our devs and designers to cards, doing 1:1s with them to check if all is good, presenting progress reports

  • writing project charters, project briefs, requests for quotes, sketching wireframes

  • outsourcing: I search job boards for freelancers, set up meetings with them to discuss upcoming projects, evaluate their portfolio and outsource part of the work

I have little say in the economics side. I can't set a budget, but I can suggest what % to allocate for development and what for marketing if I have some data to back my decision.

I don't write contracts or legal documents, I just pass my technical writing to other people who do that and pack it in a nice proposal for the end client.

I have an unrelated MSc degree and over the years I've learned to code basic backends in Java or PHP to launch some demos, but I really don't enjoy writing code full time.

I've thought about simply "project manager" of course but I see most people who have that as their main title also have some certification (e.g. PMP or PRINCE2)

What would be an appropriate job title for me?

  • Don't you have to file taxes? What does it say on your contract or government registration? Something must have been put down. – Nelson Jun 1 at 1:27
  • @Nelson We have national collective labour agreement so it just says something generic that can be roughly translated to "Commerce, Tertiary, Distribution and Services" – Chef Tony Jun 1 at 1:40
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    Why not ask your employer what your job title is? Wouldn't that be fairly simple and straightforward? – joeqwerty Jun 1 at 1:55
  • @joeqwerty I asked him more than once (it was one of my first questions when I joined) but he said he sees me as "hybrid", project management, customer relations, a bit of software dev... it's a small company (~30 people) so roles overlap a lot. I'm leaning towards "project manager", I'm just not 100% confident I can put that on my profile with experience only and no certifications or related degree. Nice point though, I'll try asking some colleagues too :) – Chef Tony Jun 1 at 2:12
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    If you're doing project manager work, and have been doing project manager work and can demonstrate that with your experience, then there's nothing wrong with calling yourself a project manager. I did the same when I moved from (non-computer) engineering and started being a software developer. – HorusKol Jun 1 at 2:34
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LinkedIn titles - and job titles in general - aren't a formal list of accredited roles. You can be a software developer with no formal training. You can be a Product Manager in one company doing what a Project Manager will do in another, simply because they use a different nomenclature.

(An important caveat, mentioned by @GregoryCurrie, is that in some countries, some titles are legally protected. But these are usually things like "engineer" or "attorney at law". Project Manager probably isn't, but make sure to check)

You can put something like "Project Manager and more" as your title, and list your actual areas of responsibility more granularly if you want.

Remember, though, that your LinkedIn profile isn't a "neutral" representation of what you do. It's a business card where you put what you want to advertise that you do. If, in the future, you want to pursue a career as a project and product manager, put that as your title. If you want to focus your career trajectory on being a "technical program manager", put a bit more emphasis on the "bit of software dev" you do.

You are not a project manager, product manager or anything else. You are a person doing a variety of jobs that can loosely be encapsulated under a role or title, sometimes more than one. If there's interlap, choose the one that fits your desires and serves you best.

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    Just a caveat: there are protected job titles in some countries and some professions. – Gregory Currie Jun 1 at 12:23
  • True. I've integrated that into my answer. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Jun 1 at 12:54
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Pick a title which helps you get the next job you want

In small companies, titles are largely meaningless and you can usually just give yourself one as long as your manager is ok with whatever it is. So pick a title for the job you want to get next.

If a Project Manager job is what you want, then give yourself that. If you have been doing it for a number of years (perhaps greater than 5), put "Senior" in front of your title. If you want to give the impression that you worked for a large company, call it Project Manager III.

You are basically choosing something for the search system or the recruiter scanning your resume.

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