Well for starters, let us see the difference between Line jobs and Staff jobs.
Line jobs make money for your organization. In some places they are also called profit centers. Line jobs bring in money and have direct relationship with profit and loss. They impact the business and bottom line directly. They are the reason for your organization’s existence.
Staff jobs, also called as cost centers in organizations include lawyers, planners, data processing people, research and development, scientists and administrators of all types. Some justifiable staff jobs indirectly get and keep customers. Jobs that don’t get and keep customers are redundant.
In today’s organization structures the distinction between line jobs and staff jobs is sometimes blurred. It is still easy to identify them – line jobs are where the action is. Period.
Line jobs include sales people, sales managers, product managers, plant managers, marketing directors, foremen and general managers – generally revenue generating functions.
In many companies, majority of the people are either doing administration or field sales. Administrative people are not bad or untalented. But the organizations do not usually view them as cutting edge. The company does not depend on them. They are increasingly being replaced by automated computer systems and application software that can manage the routine. In other cases, these people are replaceable by people from other industries with minimal training and tolerable impact to business.
Take a staff job only if it
1. is purely temporary,
2. a stepping stone and
3. If it pays more money.
Be sure what the line and staff jobs in your company are. Be sure to get the right one.
You do not want to be a cost centre. Do you?