Lead vs Senior

SAP h2gkmo
Jul 6, 2018 15 Comments

*Update* Decided to stick with the Senior title, thanks to everyone that gave advice🙏

I’m negotiating a title for a new role (outside of SAP). My current title is Lead, and the role I’m considering is Senior.
To my mind, Lead > Senior. What do you folks think? Should I stick with he Senior title or negotiate for a Lead title?
FWIW the job responsibilities of the senior role are bigger than my current Lead responsibilities, and I know titles mean different things in different companies... interested to hear your thoughts!

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TOP 15 Comments
  • Microsoft Siwiissh
    Get head, not just lead. All better than senior.
    Jul 6, 2018 2
    • SAP h2gkmo
      OP
      Does head infer managerial responsibility to you? That’s what I’m aiming for
      Jul 6, 2018
    • Microsoft Siwiissh
      Yes. Head should be a ppl manager.
      Jul 6, 2018
  • Microsoft Zuzi
    Which company? Lead is an unofficial title everywhere I’ve worked. It doesn’t mean much. Your bonus and pay grade is tied to your “senior” title.
    Jul 6, 2018 4
    • SAP h2gkmo
      OP
      It’s a pre-IPO startup with the same backers as AirBnb (I don’t wanna give more details bc anonymity) - good point about lead being a mostly unofficial title, but I’ve found at similar companies in the industry (I know this is vague sorry) I’ve seen similar official titles of Lead and Senior Lead (which tends to mean a wider-scope manager role).
      Jul 6, 2018
    • SAP h2gkmo
      OP
      I don’t wanna lose the lead title, maybe negotiating for a senior lead title a good mashup?
      Jul 6, 2018
    • Microsoft Zuzi
      Is it in sales or swe? Maybe lead means something in sales that I’m unfamiliar with. In engineering, it doesn’t mean much and can change from project to project. Maybe what you have in mind is TLM?
      Jul 6, 2018
    • SAP h2gkmo
      OP
      It’s a UX Research position, so I think design roles use different terms than engineering and sales!
      Jul 6, 2018
  • What is your long term goal for a career path? Would you like your career path to be people management or individual contribution? Ask for a job title that suits your long term career vision 😃!

    Future companies will pay attention if you led/managed people or epics products

    Good luck!
    Jul 6, 2018 1
    • SAP h2gkmo
      OP
      I’d love to transition into people management so I’ll pick a suitable title for that! Thank you! ☺️
      Jul 6, 2018
  • Uber ettutk
    Lead is sometimes used by experienced senior people to indicate they were in charge of something big. Sort of an IC equivalent to "head of"
    Jul 6, 2018 0
  • Facebook / Mgmt uaqx41
    Don’t worry so much about title. Every company maps differently.
    Jul 6, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Design Hot==dog
    “Lead” is meaningless. I see it thrown around all the time. You’re either a manager or an IC. Lead is squishy. If manager, you’re either managing ICs or other managers—usually what a senior manager does. Or, you’re a director. Managing senior managers and so on.

    If IC, you’re either junior or “mid-level”, in which case your scope is predictable and fairly limited. Or, senior. If senior, you’re probably sought out by a range of people, both within a design org and product, engineering, etc. You get a lot of shit done, accurately and quickly. Above that is principal. Sometimes it means something, often it doesn’t. In my experience it means fuck-all but it sounds cool.

    Where are you looking to go? Depending on what you’ve done and your experience, maybe ask for principal.
    Jul 9, 2018 1
    • SAP h2gkmo
      OP
      The role is intended to grow into a management role, so I decided to stick with Senior for now!
      Jul 10, 2018
  • Nielsen / Eng DrSpark
    TC or GTFO
    Jul 6, 2018 0