In mid-2006, after about seven years at a large telecommunications company, I left to take a job at a smaller company. The official job title I took in 2006 was "Product Support Specialist" which is a fancy title for technical support. I had done customer support for five out of my seven years at my previous company so doing product / customer support wasn't anything new to me.
However, I had taken the job to take on some new challenges as a smaller company gives you those opportunities. Over time, I ended up doing some different things including pre-sales technical support, QA Testing, and manual writing.
As things progressed into 2007, the smaller company earned some venture capitalist (VC) funding. With that, the VC's decided to bring in experienced management to help the company grow to the next level. With that, I got a new manager and subsequently new job titles. My new manager had studied the work that I did and thought it was reflected Sales support (even if customer / technical support was still an important part of the job). My manager decided to bless me with a new job title which was "Inside Sales Engineer". I didn't realize how important the job title would be until later.
Unfortunately, in mid 2008, I was laid off from the smaller company. This would be my first ever layoff and I admit it was a bit of a surprise. However, I took things in stride and just began the process of looking for a new job.
About a month later, I got a call from a recruiter for a "Sales Engineer". I guess having my job title as a "Inside Sales Engineer" helped him find me. Thanks to that recruiter, I landed the job of Sales Engineer at my current company.
To wrap this post, it had been a small goal of mine to achieve the title of "Senior Sales Engineer" at my current company eventually. Being a Senior Sales Engineer has different expectations and responsibilities and so I knew it wasn't going to be anytime soon.
In a bit of a repeat from 2006, the management staff of our Sales Engineering team determined that all of the Sales Engineers on our team were already performing work at the level of "Senior Sales Engineers". Thus the management decided that all of the Sales Engineers would be granted the title of "Senior Sales Engineer". The folks that were already "Senior Sales Engineers" would be given a new title of "Principal Sales Engineer". So while all of us will still be performing our same duties, we have been gifted some new titles.
So while this isn't technically a promotion, I do appreciate having the title. It was something that I wanted to achieve from a personal perspective. Even thought the title will be official at some point, I won't stop trying to improve and will continue to push toward the next level of my position in the future. However, it's funny how things sometimes work out when you least expect it.