Roles vs Jobs

In many companies, matching a job role to a job title can be a big challenge.

What’s your job title?

Senior Software Developer? Scrum Master? SRE? Engineering Manager?

It’s probably easy to answer for most of us.

What is your job role?

Or maybe more accurately for most: What are your job roles? Plural.

I’ll bet this is much harder to answer for many.

For some, the job title and job role align very closely.

But in many companies, especially smaller ones and startups, matching a job role to a job title can be a big challenge.

You may simultaneously fill the roles of software developer, architect, human resources, CTO, and who knows what else.

This may be all well and good if you’re the founder of the company. But when it comes time to expand, this can pose quite a challenge.

You’ll inevitably end up hiring someone who’s a bad match. That is to say, you’ll ether over-pay by hiring someone who’s a capable CTO, then under-utilize their skills by having them doing mundane tasks. Or you’ll under-hire by hiring, say, a capable developer, who doesn’t have the skills or aptitude to be a good CTO.

I’ve more than once found myself in the former situation. A company hired me to act as an engineering manager or CTO, only to discover that 80% of my time was spent doing software development, rather than strategic business work. This is a huge waste of money, when someone at half my salary could be doing the software development work just as well.

What’s the solution?

Hire me as a fractional CTO. Or Engineering Manager. Or Team Lead. Or hire someone else as your fractional People Officer or Product Manager. Or whatever other leadership or strategic role you need filled, which doesn’t (yet) justify a full time salary.

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