Don’t judge a book by its cover

Are you letting a Job Title hold back your career?


Don’t judge a book by its cover – are you letting a Job Title hold back your career?

In the insolvency and restructuring market, professionals often place a significant emphasis on their job titles. As a recruiter specializing in this sector for over 15 years, I’ve observed how focusing on job titles can create unnecessary barriers to exploring new opportunities or taking on roles that offer substantial professional growth. In this article, we will discuss the importance of looking beyond job titles to achieve career success specifically in the insolvency and restructuring field.

Simple Job Title Hierarchy

A basic job title hierarchy in the insolvency and restructuring market might look like this:

  • Junior/Trainee Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Senior Administrator
  • Assistant Manager
  • Manager
  • Senior Manager
  • Director
  • Partner

While this hierarchy provides a general framework, keep in mind that job titles can vary greatly between companies within the insolvency and restructuring sector, making them difficult to compare.

The Inconsistency of Titles Across the Insolvency and Restructuring Sector

As mentioned earlier, job titles can be inconsistent across different companies. For example, consider the case of assistant manager candidates. In some practices, their role and responsibilities would align more with a senior insolvency administrator, while in others, their duties would be typical of a manager. This inconsistency can lead to confusion and missed opportunities if you’re only looking at the job title when considering new roles.

The Impact of Inflated Titles on Career Progression

Some firms in the insolvency and restructuring market assign inflated titles to their staff, which can be a double-edged sword. For instance, a company may give the title of “assistant manager” to employees whose responsibilities are more in line with a senior insolvency administrator. While this may help retain staff because they might find it difficult to move on and find another role at the same level, it can also create a mental barrier for these individuals, who may be reluctant to take a perceived step down in title, even if the new role offers better opportunities for growth.

At more senior levels, we see a similar situation with titles like senior manager and associate director. I recently assisted several professionals in moving from a manager position at one firm to an associate director role at another. Although their new title and responsibilities were more in line with a traditional senior manager.

Inflated titles can have a detrimental impact on future career development. Potential employers might perceive a candidate as overqualified for roles that could be a perfect fit, simply because their title suggests they have more experience than they actually do.

Focus on What Truly Matters

Instead of solely concentrating on the job title, consider the following factors when evaluating a new career opportunity in the insolvency and restructuring market:

Responsibilities: What are the key tasks and duties associated with the role? Will you be challenged and gain new skills and experiences relevant to the insolvency and restructuring field?

Growth Opportunities: Does the position offer the potential for professional development, either within the company or by building a strong foundation for future roles in the insolvency and restructuring sector?

Company Culture: Is the company’s work environment and values aligned with your own? A positive and supportive culture can make a significant difference in your job satisfaction and overall success.

Salary and Benefits: While not the sole focus, it’s essential to ensure the compensation package is fair and meets your financial needs.

Work-Life Balance: Does the role allow for a healthy balance between work and personal life? This aspect is crucial for long-term happiness and well-being.

Go Beyond the Title

When planning your career progression in the insolvency and restructuring market, don’t let job titles limit you. Focus on the responsibilities and opportunities for growth that each role presents. I’ve seen people achieve their desired title and then stagnate because they stopped pushing themselves to keep developing. Regardless of your title, always assess whether your daily tasks contribute to your professional development in the insolvency and restructuring sector.

Stay Flexible and Adaptive

In today’s rapidly changing job market, adaptability is a valuable asset, especially in the insolvency and restructuring field. Being open to new roles, industries, or even locations can help you uncover hidden opportunities and expand your career horizons. Flexibility also allows you to respond more effectively to the evolving demands of the insolvency and restructuring market, keeping your skills and knowledge relevant and up to date.

Embrace a Holistic Approach to Career Growth

Ultimately, achieving success in the insolvency and restructuring market requires a holistic approach to career growth. Look beyond job titles and focus on the skills, experiences, and opportunities that truly matter for your professional development. By doing so, you will unlock your full potential and pave the way for a more fulfilling and rewarding career in this dynamic and evolving field.


My opinion on Job Titles is based on my 15 years+ of recruiting Insolvency/restructuring professionals.

For advice about your career options, speak to Scott Lowes at Levitate Recruitment, specialists in placing practice-trained accountants and insolvency professionals across the UK, and find the right role to suit your ambitions.