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Associate Director/Director  

 

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DixonC
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February 26, 2021 2:11 am  

Really happy to have found this forum.  I participated in the old Science Careers forum and got much helpful advise there.  So glad to be here and hope to get some good advise on possible career moves.

So I've worked in the industry for some 4 years now, at a small biotech.  I been very successful so far, and been recently approached by recruiters with AD level positions.  I'm now a lead scientist with 5 direct reports.  Still doing some lab work and would like to do less (or none).  Would an AD or Director position be a step up?  Are these good jobs?  What professional growth opportunities would such position offer?

Would also appreciate any insight into the job--the descriptions that I have are very general (e.g. report to VP, communicate with stakeholders) and hard to figure out what actual responsibilities and expectations may be.

Thanks in advance!


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Dick Woodward
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February 26, 2021 2:18 pm  

Associate director may be a step up in title, but until you find out what the responsibilities are, it may well be a lateral move in terms of responsibilities. You need to find out how many direct reports you will have and what the responsibiulities of the position are.


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DixonC
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February 28, 2021 3:57 pm  

Wouldn't a step up in title (and compensation) be a good thing in and on itself?  My goal here is to get more into a senior management role, but more of a build and grow type than some 3-year gig.


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Dick Woodward
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February 28, 2021 4:10 pm  

Possibly. Certainly the increased compensation is a positive (I assume that you already know this) but compare the potential for advancement at your current position with the potential at the new position. And again, look at the responsibilities of the new position. How many direct reports will you have? If this is an existing position, what happened to your predecessor? If said predecessor is at the company, try to have a discussion with him/her to find out about the position. If they have left the company, see if you can track them down - perhaps through LinkedIn - to get their take on the position. (I did this once, and discovered that the owners at the new company - who I was already a little skeptical of - had no compunctions about lying to their management.


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DX
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March 1, 2021 4:27 pm  

To add to Dick's point. 

It's key you look at the responsibility (inclusive if it is a team-lead role with reports) and what your deliverables would be and importantly, link that to the FUNCTION you'll have. Most of us have a job title (which a so to speak "rank" or level) and your Functional title, that is what you do.  You have a people management responsibility, that would be something you may wish to carry forward as you advance. 

Increase in title and compensation only works if the opportunity falls into your development/career objectives, one does not pick a job based on title alone.  

Regarding your question of which title is better - of course (no duh) a title synonymous a higher job "rank" or "level" than your current "rank" or "level" is usually always better provided that the job is IN FACT higher ranking that your current level and that's what you're aspiring to.  Don't take a job opportunity at face value, in this case job title.  And better means, better to have the higher title when it comes to competing for external opportunities (in the future).    

Every company is different, in one company you may find an AD is a super title with managerial responsiblity and is relatively high ranking, meaning a D levels is super high level, yet in others, and AD is well, not a high level role.  I was i one company a few years ago where everybody and their mother was an Associate Director, a title used to keep people happy.   Yet in another, it was good middle management title with good empowerment and responsiblity/incl. managerial responsiblity where applicable. Of course in that company Directors had exhaulted status. So figure it out, don't let looking inside one company define how it is in another company. 

IRRESPECTIVE....I think it was Roche that use to say, its not the title that defines you...but the job that you do.  I would have to fully agree in this case.  (i'm not a Roche employee for the record.. but maybe I was some place in my past 🙂  

good luck, but find out more.   

DX


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DixonC
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March 6, 2021 11:45 pm  

Thanks for your input. 

Just as an update, this didn't work out because the one position required relocation and others just weren't the right fit.  Was interesting to get approached by three different recruiters with same type of job, and one that's a step up, at least in title.


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