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ShaunBaker91  
#1 Posted : 04 October 2017 12:35:39(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

I was Previously in a duel role as a chemical operator and safety advisor I left to go into a predominant Health and Safety role as I am now studying my Degree equivalent.

My current role, I started as a health and safety assistant, this was due to be junior H&S advisor and I have had major arguments with management and the directors over my role and title I have always presumed that an assistant is to assist.

my current duties are:

- Review and conduct Risk Assessments.

- Job hazard analysis.

- Produce Safe Systems of Work.

- Organise Training and Conduct toolbox talks.

- New employee training, training records and training matrix's.

- Develop induction handbooks for new employees and visitors and deliver these as necessary.

- Develop and maintain a safety management system inline with ISO18001.

- Identify legal requirements.

- Write Policies and Procedures.

- Conduct internal system audits on safety management system.

- test fire alarm and document, produce fire evacuation plans and ensure best practise is maintained.

- conduct daily workplace inspections.

- conduct a monthly hazard report and action plan.

- lead accident/incident investigation and conduct root cause analysis.

- set targets and objectives to reduce accidents, incidents, near misses and workplace hazards.

- develop graphs to monitor performance.

would I be right in thinking that I am working above an assistant as my director is arguing that due to my title change i will be wanting more money, this is not the case i want to be accredited for what i currently do and to highlight that my manager (who is in a duel role) is not performing his duties i am performing them.

what title/level would you consider this role to be?

please the more responses the better as this is my argument that i conduct a lot more than assistant.

WatsonD  
#2 Posted : 04 October 2017 14:58:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

Hi Shaun,

I can see your employers point if there is a hierarchy in place which puts you on a par with other job roles/ levels within your pay scale. Is the battle worth fighting, and what do you want to gain from a job title?

There are few protected job titles so in relaity it is down to the boss how he/she sees the company structured.

However, you could go with Health & Safety Coordinator

ShaunBaker91  
#3 Posted : 04 October 2017 15:10:59(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

thank you, although it was more a point of doing alot more than an assistant does.

to call someone an assistant when they have developed the entire system is a major insult.

pete48  
#4 Posted : 04 October 2017 20:01:49(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
pete48

Hi Shaun. 

Assistant is a term also used to denote someone who simply ranks beneath a senior person; especially so in organisations that are/have to be structured hierarchically. It is not just about defining someone as a 'helper' type of assistant. There are plenty of examples in all sectors that show the term applied to jobs requiring strong quals, skill sets and experience. 

Thus is it possible that your comment about being insulted is a matter of personal perception? Are you perhaps too fixed on the 'helper' type of description. Personally I have always gone with salary levels as the area to challenge with bosses rather than job titles.

hth

thanks 1 user thanked pete48 for this useful post.
WatsonD on 05/10/2017(UTC)
ShaunBaker91  
#5 Posted : 05 October 2017 08:18:19(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

Originally Posted by: pete48 Go to Quoted Post

Hi Shaun. 

Assistant is a term also used to denote someone who simply ranks beneath a senior person; especially so in organisations that are/have to be structured hierarchically. It is not just about defining someone as a 'helper' type of assistant. There are plenty of examples in all sectors that show the term applied to jobs requiring strong quals, skill sets and experience. 

Thus is it possible that your comment about being insulted is a matter of personal perception? Are you perhaps too fixed on the 'helper' type of description. Personally I have always gone with salary levels as the area to challenge with bosses rather than job titles.

hth

Hi Pete,

I feel insulted as when I came to this role and responsibilities where decided, it was decided that I would assist the manager in controlling hazards, etc. My manager works in planning and HSE and since i have started he has focused soley on Planning so as you can see my issue is more that I am not assisting I have developed the companies policies and procedures, set health and safety objectives and conduct performance measuring.

When I first started at the company I ask to review the risk assessments to be told they had only managed to do 2 in 4 years and had no system in place so I have now developed an internal Safety Management System in line with OHSAS 18001 and am taking the through the transition to ISO45001 to gain accreditation, for which my manager has taken 100% credit as though these where tasks set by him (I wrote my own Plan on a Page)

Hopefully you can see my frustration and not feel this is a petty issue.

Thank you.

Shaun.

Waz  
#6 Posted : 05 October 2017 12:53:02(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Waz

Lets look at football club management.  I don't know what your club is (if indeed you like football), but lets say its Manchester United - they had a Manager - Sir Alex Ferguson; then they had an Assistant Manager - Brian Kidd, Steve McClaren, Carlos Quiroz to name but few.  They didn't manage the club, they assisted, e.g. did things the Manager didn't e.g. coaching. 

The title of the role is irrelevant to a degree, its whats in your job description that counts and the role, responsbilities and remuneration attributable.

Kind regards

Waz

jcollins17  
#7 Posted : 05 October 2017 14:16:13(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
jcollins17

I agree with you ShaunBaker91. I have been a H&S coordinator for 3 years in two different jobs, but I have been doing much more than a coordinators job - in my current role I am the only H&S person, as my manager has recently left and there is no sign of a replacement, but even before he left I was near enough managing the H&S in 2 sites (he was based at another site). 

I find the job title holds back my career progression as I feel the title is the first thing looked at when applying for Advisory roles in other organisations (a recruitment company informed me of this). My previous two managers have commented that I should at least be in an advisory role but the powers above them are not willing to change the title (probably due to possible salary changed) - I am happy with my current salary and money does not really come into it (although it would be nice to be paid more), but I think to have Health and Safety Advisor on my CV looks miles better than Health and Safety Coordinator and further down the line when I’m possibly ready for the next step after that which would be a manager - it is very unlikely to go from coordinator to manager.

In terms of changing my job title I have been looking elsewhere to get the recognition I think I deserve, this could be something that you might have to do, although I am finding it difficult to get my foot into the interview room door.

ShaunBaker91  
#8 Posted : 05 October 2017 14:53:15(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

Originally Posted by: jcollins17 Go to Quoted Post

I agree with you ShaunBaker91. I have been a H&S coordinator for 3 years in two different jobs, but I have been doing much more than a coordinators job - in my current role I am the only H&S person, as my manager has recently left and there is no sign of a replacement, but even before he left I was near enough managing the H&S in 2 sites (he was based at another site). 

I find the job title holds back my career progression as I feel the title is the first thing looked at when applying for Advisory roles in other organisations (a recruitment company informed me of this). My previous two managers have commented that I should at least be in an advisory role but the powers above them are not willing to change the title (probably due to possible salary changed) - I am happy with my current salary and money does not really come into it (although it would be nice to be paid more), but I think to have Health and Safety Advisor on my CV looks miles better than Health and Safety Coordinator and further down the line when I’m possibly ready for the next step after that which would be a manager - it is very unlikely to go from coordinator to manager.

In terms of changing my job title I have been looking elsewhere to get the recognition I think I deserve, this could be something that you might have to do, although I am finding it difficult to get my foot into the interview room door.

Yes This is exactly my case I am the only person under the manager and he focuses entirely on planning of production.

I have all of my roles and responsibilities on my CV but the fact it is down as assistant means you don't get a chance, firms look at the roles and unless its advisor/ officer they don't even bother with the jobs/ tasks you currently do.

I also am looking elsewhere and due to my title I am having to look at stepping into trainee advisor positions or assistant positions that offer progression it is a horrible feeling.

Waz, Jcollins has hit the nail on the head with what I was aiming to say.

I do get where you are coming from though Waz it is JUST a title and doesn't denounce your role, but it does stop you leaving the company as you do not get the chance to be interviewed as you're only an assistant, you must just assist it's okay saying it's just a title but it is the situation behind it the fact I am down on paper as a assistant I cannot progress the career I want (even though I conduct the role of Advisor and have done in 2 different roles with 2 years experience and manage and developed the safety management system) so yes it is just a title but when you are at a higher level experience wise and qualification wise than assistant roles require and many other roles may I add it makes you feel like rubbish to be stuck in the same position not able to grow and develop or progress further.

Edited by user 05 October 2017 14:57:10(UTC)  | Reason: missed word

Andrew W Walker  
#9 Posted : 05 October 2017 15:03:19(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Andrew W Walker

Why not change your CV to the title you want. Its not exactly fraudulent changing a word, as long as you don't lie about quals & experience, I don't see an issue.

See if that helps with the job interviews.

thanks 2 users thanked Andrew W Walker for this useful post.
lorna on 06/10/2017(UTC), ke5283 on 02/11/2017(UTC)
SNS  
#10 Posted : 05 October 2017 22:12:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
SNS

If you don't like where you are, move.

Change management bottom line - if you can't change the people, change the people.

Elfin Davy 09  
#11 Posted : 06 October 2017 10:23:14(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Elfin Davy 09

Hi Shaun

You may not like (or agree) with what I’m about to say, but please take it in the manner intended, which is meant to be constructive.

Firstly, it isn’t clear exactly what H&S qualifications you currently hold, other than saying that you’re studying for a “degree equivalent”.  Whilst I fully accept that qualifications aren’t necessarily the “be all and end all” of a position, they often place you within a certain bracket, and you can only move upwards when your qualifications and experience show that you’ve reached (or bettered) a certain standard.

Next, you say that you feel “insulted” by your job title because you believe that you’re doing more than should be expected of an assistant, and that you’re not actually assisting your manager.  Having looked at the tasks you’re undertaking, I have to say that a) most of these I would expect a competent assistant of mine to be able to do, and b) that you ARE assisting your manager by freeing up his time to allow him to do other things.  I’m not au fait with your organisation so I don’t know how they work (or what they expect of people), but it’s not unusual for people to have dual roles these days unfortunately, and maybe your manager is having to rely upon you to help him fulfil the role that your Company expects of him ?

Another way of looking at your current role is that you’re learning and gaining experience whilst being shielded to a degree.  By that I mean that your current job title of “assistant” protects you up to a point as your manager (and those above him) are the ones who are ultimately responsible for supervising someone in your position, and for your actions – especially if one day you get it wrong !  Many people would be grateful for that.

You’ve stated that you’ve had “major arguments with managers and directors over your role”.  I have to say that I’ve personally risen to quite a high management level within Health and Safety, and I didn’t get there by arguing over my job title.  You learn that you only have that sort of conversation when something really serious demands it, and maybe your attitude has something to do with the fact that you’re not where you want to be ? (sorry if that offends, but I did say you might not like some of things I had to say).

Having said all of the above, I DO have some sympathy with your predicament, and I think many of us have been in your shoes at some point during our careers.  However, the way to go about it is to make things happen rather than moaning about it.  If you REALLY don’t think you’re valued where you’re at, move on (as SNS has suggested).  If you’re as good as you say you are, your actual job title won’t hold you back – believe me.  The vast majority of us who hold senior positions now used to be assistants at some point, and most of us obviously managed to convince other Companies that we were “worthy of greater things” to make the step up.  Yes, it can be challenging at times, but it’s far from impossible.  Don’t forget however that with the higher title come greater responsibilities, and I would suggest that you only make the move when you’re fully ready to do so.

If you honestly feel that you’re ready now, then may I wish you all the best in obtaining your objectives.

thanks 1 user thanked Elfin Davy 09 for this useful post.
ShaunBaker91 on 06/10/2017(UTC)
ShaunBaker91  
#12 Posted : 06 October 2017 11:12:56(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

Hi, Elfin Davy, I do agree to a point, my issue is not with what I am doing it is what I was initailly expected to do, I have tripled my workload to free up my managers time, I have reduced the amount of personal time I have (which is used to revise for my Level 6 Diploma) and I am killing myself day in and day out to go beyond my origanally agreed role to better the company.

my real Issue is after all this I have not received a thank you, I have not received a pay raise and to top it all I was pulled into a meeting to thank my Manager for increasing the level of health and safety on site and thank the Quality manager for taking us to ts16949 (who I helped a great deal with gaining accreditation).

I am in the process now of apply for other jobs but most opportunities are missed by recruitment agencies as they see the title of assistant but cannot grasp the concept of the responsibilities we provide and so great chances are missed due to people underestimating assistants and presuming they only assist on others duties.

I can honestly say my ambition is to grow within Health and Safety and when I do I will not Underestimate an assistant.

Thank you all for the replies and coping with my post of frustation.

Elfin Davy 09  
#13 Posted : 06 October 2017 11:53:01(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Elfin Davy 09

Hi Shaun

Thank you for taking my comments in the way they were intended, and - as I said in my original post - I DO have some sympathy for your position.  Nobody likes to feel that they're not appreciated, and it certainly looks like you're being wound up (intentionally or otherwise) by your current employers.  If it's really as bad as you suggest (and you don't think it's likely that things will ever change), I would strongly advise you to move on and stop wasting your time and energies there.

In terms of job hunting, I would further suggest that you avoid agencies if at all possible (they tend to work on strict criteria provided by their client rather than for the applicant, so if their client states that they need someone with a Diploma, you won't get a look in - however good you are - unless you hold a Diploma unfortunately).

I would advise therefore that you target employers who advertise their vacancies themselves rather than via agencies.  If you feel you match their requirements, tailor your CV accordingly and point out that you're currently studying for Level 6.  You might have to persevere and send out a few applications (it's a tough world at the moment unfortunately), but I can pretty much guarantee that someone will at least give you an interview, and it's up to you to convince them at that time.

Stick with it and don't give up (but while you're still with your present employer, use your time wisely to gain experience rather than going into work frustrated every day and becoming more and more demoralised - your time will come).

Good luck

 Elfin

Edited by user 06 October 2017 11:54:40(UTC)  | Reason: Spelling error

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ShaunBaker91 on 06/10/2017(UTC)
ShaunBaker91  
#14 Posted : 06 October 2017 12:00:54(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

Originally Posted by: Elfin Davy 09 Go to Quoted Post

Hi Shaun

Thank you for taking my comments in the way they were intended, and - as I said in my original post - I DO have some sympathy for your position.  Nobody likes to feel that they're not appreciated, and it certainly looks like you're being wound up (intentionally or otherwise) by your current employers.  If it's really as bad as you suggest (and you don't think it's likely that things will ever change), I would strongly advise you to move on and stop wasting your time and energies there.

In terms of job hunting, I would further suggest that you avoid agencies if at all possible (they tend to work on strict criteria provided by their client rather than for the applicant, so if their client states that they need someone with a Diploma, you won't get a look in - however good you are - unless you hold a Diploma unfortunately).

I would advise therefore that you target employers who advertise their vacancies themselves rather than via agencies.  If you feel you match their requirements, tailor your CV accordingly and point out that you're currently studying for Level 6.  You might have to persevere and send out a few applications (it's a tough world at the moment unfortunately), but I can pretty much guarantee that someone will at least give you an interview, and it's up to you to convince them at that time.

Stick with it and don't give up (but while you're still with your present employer, use your time wisely to gain experience rather than going into work frustrated every day and becoming more and more demoralised - your time will come).

Good luck

 Elfin

Hi Elfin,

Yes it unfortunately is a tough world at the moment, the only issue is the only people who seem to be advertising at the moment are the agencies unfortunately.

I have tailored my CV as my Qualifications have been acheived and do add the Qualifications I am working towards, I am in the interview process with 3 Potential opportunities so hopefully the hard work will pay off.

Thank you again for comments.

Edited by user 06 October 2017 12:02:05(UTC)  | Reason: Spelling error

Mr.Flibble2.0  
#15 Posted : 09 October 2017 13:46:50(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mr.Flibble2.0

I went from:

Health and Safety Advisor to,

HSEQ Co-Ordinator to,

HSEQ Assitant to,

Health and Safety Manager to,

Health and Safety Consltant to,

Health, Safety, Environmental and Building Services Manager to,

Safety, Health and Environmental Manager.

I really wouldn't get to hung up on job titles and neither will recruiters. Its your CV and you that gets the job whatever you called in your Job Role. They can call me whatever they like as long as they pay me for it.

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ShaunBaker91 on 11/10/2017(UTC)
ShaunBaker91  
#16 Posted : 11 October 2017 12:36:16(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

thanks mr flibble that made me chuckle yes aslong as they pay the wage too

Oxford  
#17 Posted : 11 October 2017 13:20:07(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Oxford

I think more companies are following the lead of HR departments and calling their staff either H&S Business Advisors, or H&S Business Partners...maybe that could be a suggesion to put to your boss so it doesn't appear to be threatening...all the while of course working out how to replace him in his job, lol

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ShaunBaker91 on 12/10/2017(UTC)
simplesafety  
#18 Posted : 19 October 2017 13:16:39(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
simplesafety

Just to put things in perspective, Im a HSE Manager for a global manufacturing organisation (only HSE person on site, Im CMIOSH etc), although my title is HSE Officer, The next HSE role above mine is the HSE Coordinator who looks after all the UK and EU sites, The next level is called Compliance Assurance Advisors who are Senior Managers in actual fact although the title may not reflect this at first glance. I supose HSE role title vary with the company, there has been a few posts about Manager / Advisor / Officer and which is more senior, but in fact it means little. It sounds like your building some great experience in your current role, if you feel undervalued get writing your CV with all that experience, your current title will not put off future employers. Good luck

Mr Curious  
#19 Posted : 01 November 2017 09:40:34(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mr Curious

I can relate to this topic as I was in the same boat. I was a QHSE Assistant, paid as an assistant and doing much much more work than an assistant. Furthermore, I already had 2 master's degrees, one in engineering and one in HSE mgt.

However, I decided to suck it up and make the most out of it instead. It was really a change of mind for me. I decided that I will learn as much as I can and then I will move on within 1 year. And so I did...

And guess what?! The experience and knowledge I got from that role provided me the opportunity to be within one of the best and well known companies in the world! It took tons of work and a little bit of luck, but I am here now.

So my advice would be to work as hard as you can and be rewarded with your next role. If you are unhappy, then just decide that you will move on. Finish your degree, get all that you can and move on. There are plenty of employers out there looking for dedicated and commited people like you and not the persons who say: that is not included in my job description. You will excel, not them.

Good luck!

Edited by user 01 November 2017 09:45:25(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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ShaunBaker91 on 01/11/2017(UTC)
ShaunBaker91  
#20 Posted : 01 November 2017 16:59:02(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ShaunBaker91

Originally Posted by: simplesafety Go to Quoted Post

Just to put things in perspective, Im a HSE Manager for a global manufacturing organisation (only HSE person on site, Im CMIOSH etc), although my title is HSE Officer, The next HSE role above mine is the HSE Coordinator who looks after all the UK and EU sites, The next level is called Compliance Assurance Advisors who are Senior Managers in actual fact although the title may not reflect this at first glance. I supose HSE role title vary with the company, there has been a few posts about Manager / Advisor / Officer and which is more senior, but in fact it means little. It sounds like your building some great experience in your current role, if you feel undervalued get writing your CV with all that experience, your current title will not put off future employers. Good luck

Thank you Yes the experience boost is all that concerns me growing further experience and gaining greater opportunities.

Taylor161063  
#21 Posted : 03 November 2017 19:45:39(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Taylor161063

Its hard not to agree with the common sense advice posted; we all have to start somewhere, and possibly having a larger role than is represented of a job title is better than the other way around,, growing expertise in a function builds competence,, continued study assists with further development, and all of us at some point have been or are in the process of professional development. I once worked as an administrator in a role and used my time to gain an MSc. I've had a successful career thereafter, gaining CMIOSH on route and am still developing.

I think the most useful advice I could give is to stick with your study plan whilst continuing to develop in your role, whether that remains wih your current employer lies with you to decide

Also note there are many management roles which are denoted as advisor, and there are professionals aplenty asked to perform roles above their payscale; so I don't think your position is unique.

Keep at it and go for the level 6; get the education then figure out what you can do with it; your cv will stand out better in any regard if you can say your working to GradIOSH, and that should possibly be a challenge you set for yourself. thereafter build on your experiences and grow ino the role you wish to be in,, make the job what you want it to be and create the challenges you need for your career progression, your role title will not limit you to the extent you may believe at present; but not developing competencies and skills will

Set yourself some realistic development targets annd work your development plan into your existing workload; you've already mentioned OHSAS 18001, so possibly using the revision to ISO45001 as a vehicle to further develop your skill set could be a timely way of making your skill set current and desirable to future employers

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ShaunBaker91 on 06/11/2017(UTC)
Jackson43278  
#22 Posted : 07 November 2017 09:06:19(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Jackson43278

One thing I've learned is that the respect people get for the work they do in a company is more often than not down to how their peers see them because of how they are to work with and how much effective effort people see being put in, not because of a job title. I would go so far as to say that as a general rule of thumb, the flashier the suit and the more fancy-sounding the job title, the higher the chances they are over-compensating for being out of their depth and full of hot air. It's the same as that person in the office who tells everyone how busy they are and how many emails they have but you all suspect spends more time telling people how busy they are than actually doing anything. I'd concentrate on doing the job well and being seen as a helpful and valuable person within the business by people other than your line manager and not worrying too much about the title.

jim4244  
#23 Posted : 13 November 2017 02:58:32(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
jim4244

Hmmmm.... An interesting post and similar to a subject I was discussing with a colleague a couple of days ago. I work in the Oil & Gas sector and when the downturn hit I was released from my contract in the Middle East. Luckily I secured another position in the FSU within a couple of weeks. So, I went from a field HSE Superintendent to a Project HSE Supervisor. Now at the time I was just happy that with a barrel at $29 a pop that I had a job. The position (abandonment and decommissioning) actually turned out to have more responsibility when compared to my previous role and was much more focused on one specific activity, so I never really considered the job title. Here we are today with oil prices starting to bounce back and a few more jobs on offer. I have applied for a couple of Superintendent and Manager positions but am being told that the clients various recruiters send my CV to are after more senior candidates..... So as a CMIOSH with 18 years Oil & Gas HSE exposure I am now finding it hard to secure the level of position I previously held due to (on paper) taking one with a lower sounding job title. So a word of warning - before signing a contract make sure that you are not taking a backwards step in your career plan all down to the wording of the position on offer. Jim
RayRapp  
#24 Posted : 14 November 2017 15:58:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Jim,that old cliche 'everything turned on a word' springs to mind. I have also been conscious of the job tiltes although in practice it should make little difference if you have good qualifications and experience. However some people can't see past the first page or paragraph, so I suggest bumping up your prevous job title to 'manager' or something to avoid a similar situation - a white lie. 

Fraser38932  
#25 Posted : 08 December 2017 10:55:50(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Fraser38932

As with the above comments, but you are quite lucky to be in work and getting qualifications at the same time. Competetion for HS Jobs is very tough right now. Look at it as on the job training and when you feel the time is right move on.

Ive been in that situation in my earlier years and just looked at it as good on the job training &  will get you noticed when the time comes when you are job hunting by potential employers. Maybe you should try and get your chartereship to IOSH aswell if you have the chance in doing so.

The old adage it is always better to get a job when your are in  a job is very true.

With what you have done it allows you to start a conversation up with any new employees at interview stage & then build from there.

john.

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