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Creating a Job You Want to Do

Creating a Job You Want to Do

Today I have a great guest post from you from Mr. AE from Apathy Ends! I haven’t spent a lot of time talking jobs and careers here but Mr. AE does a killer job describing how you can create the job you want to do!  There is some good information in here so enjoy it!

Joining the workforce directly out of high school or college rarely turns out to be as exciting as people anticipate. Shortly after starting your job, the excitement over your adult paycheck passes and the job itself can drain your happiness.

In almost 6 years at my current (and only) employer I have created 2 new positions in 2 different departments that I wanted to do. The main reason I decided to create roles instead of simply leaving is I generally liked the opportunity and culture of my current employer (the vacation time policy is also a plus).

Rolling the dice with a new company was plan B, but I decided to take a chance and solve my own problem.

Job = Money

For those of you that love your career, you can ignore this section. I am truly happy that you found a calling you believe in that also pays the bills. More people don’t do something they love because it is way harder. Its either lower pay or higher barriers to entry.

Right now and for the foreseeable future, I will be a sell out. While I don’t hate my job by any stretch, if I had the choice I wouldn’t get up at 5:30 AM. Shower, get dressed, and jump on a bus every morning. The puppy dog eyes from our dog are almost enough to get me to call in sick every day.

I am choosing money over passion. Simple as that.

Starting At the Bottom

Reality check time.

Unless you are in a really special field or some sort of wicked genius there is only one place to start. The bottom.

Take it in stride, the worst thing you can do at this stage of your career is complain to the people above you. They already put their time in, they aren’t going to throw you a rope if they don’t think you can tough it out. The harder you work early on, the less time you are at the bottom.

Trial and Error

Some people in very specified fields know what they are going to do right after they graduate (think CPA).

For the general “Business” majors out there, you can find yourself in a wide variety of positions that you would have never seen yourself in before. It is very common to end up working outside of your field of study, I work at a technology company that has anthropology, art and elementary education majors. They didn’t know exactly what they wanted to do out of college and landed in a new field.

Have also seen Engineers move to Sales, and Sales retrain to Customer Support (we thought this one was a joke). Some times your have to try out a few paths before you know what to do. Rarely that position is available when you realize you want it.

Creating the Job

So you have worked your way through the bottom, tried out a few jobs and finally found something you want (or prefer) to do at your company. The problem is that role doesn’t exist on your team or department.

Create it.

It takes some significant upfront work, but here are my steps and tips to making it happen. 

Honesty

Open and honest conversations are the first step. Pitch the idea to your manager in a low risk situation. Be upfront that YOU want to fill the gap, don’t setup one of your peers for your job (have seen this happen, it was a disaster).

If you don’t get a flat out no, keep plugging along. Don’t expect to be told what to do, if you really want to make this happen you should depend on your manager as little as possible. 

Loyalty

Ok millennials, this does not happen over night. Evening growing organizations have paperwork and need to justify a new expense. If its a publicly traded company there is more to consider with budgets and head counts.

Let your boss know you will do whatever it takes to make this happen and will wait for the results.

Sell It

Highlight all the benefits of the new role. Why is it needed, what gaps are you going to fill. The bullet points should fall into 1 of 3 categories. How will you save money or increase revenues, How will you save time, or how will you increase quality. The more specific the better.

Job Description

This is harder than it sounds, you need to take the above benefits and turn them into job responsibilities that align. Get a template from your HR team (or grab one of a recent job posting if you want to be sneaky).

One thing to watch out for is over promising, you want this to be attractive to the management team but you will have to deliver down the road as well.

Plan to Action

 I prefer the 30-60-90 day approach for a plan to action. Getting the idea off the ground quickly is important, show how you will make an impact right out of the gates.

Even if this doesn’t initially work, you are showing that you care about improving your organization. People will notice and they wont forget.

You wont know if you don’t try

The amount of people I know personally that hate their job is astounding, but they don’t do anything to change their situation. I don’t have sympathy for someone who doesn’t take action. If you come in and do your job without trying to help yourself, from your companies point of view everything is just peachy. They aren’t going to do this for you (Just like they aren’t going to give you a raise without asking).

If you can’t make money do something you love, then at least make money doing something you hate less.

Thanks for hosting today Thias!


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17 Comments

  1. I’ve heard a personal story about an upper management person telling me how he was able to create a job for himself when he was pretty sure he was going to be fired in the coming months. What I am curious though, if you create a new job for yourself, how would a performance evaluation work? How would you know if you’re doing a good job / finding what kind of things to work on? That has always puzzled me.
    Finance Solver recently posted…Environment Matters Most to Career SuccessMy Profile

    • When I created mine, we set what I would be judged on for performance reviews. for me it was pure delivery of new product (obviously with a quality component)

      That is a good thing to think about when you write the job description

      Thanks for the comment
      Apathy Ends recently posted…5 Things I am Tired of Hearing About MoneyMy Profile

  2. I’ve never really thought about being able to do this at my job. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for possibilities.
    Nice article!

    • Apathy Ends Apathy Ends

      Thank you – If you like your company definetely consider it

  3. I think this is a wonderful idea! By creating your own job, you’ll make your work life more interesting, advance your career, grow your skills, find a new way to add value to your company, and develop more trust with your manager.

    • Apathy Ends Apathy Ends

      For sure, there are definetely benefits beyond just doing something you like (or can tolerate) – if you do it right you can even swing this into a promotion

  4. Great advice!
    Though I’ve never felt like I’ve been in a role that offers this type flexibility, these are nice steps to consider moving forward. Perhaps if I get a job at a company I like, I could apply this to working in a social media/blogging role for them. I think the points on honesty and loyalty are practical too!
    Graham @ Reverse The Crush recently posted…7 Savvy AF Snapchat Users To FollowMy Profile

    • Apathy Ends Apathy Ends

      That would be a sweet job to work yourself into – blogging gives a pretty solid background into what it takes to run social media accounts

  5. I love this idea. I have had a few jobs that it worked in and a few that were just too rigid. I love learning new things and feeling stretched. So I generally have to expand my role, or move on. Sometimes a solid outside hobby/side hustle/ project can help me sit still in a job for a while longer.
    Ms. Montana recently posted…3 Lessons after 6 months BloggingMy Profile

    • Apathy Ends Apathy Ends

      I have a similar personality (part of the reason I have held 5 positions in 5.5 years) – this is a good way to keep yourself occupied as there is a ton of learning/research that goes into it

      Thanks for the comment

  6. Companies should love this! Having people cross-train keeps them engaged and creative, and helps when times get tough or someone has an emergency.
    Good for you for thinking outside the box and following through.

    • Apathy Ends Apathy Ends

      If you are solving a real problem they should love it – Thank you!

  7. AE, this is good advice. I know a lot of people that are miserable in their jobs as well and they never do anything about it. It always makes me wonder if they are truly miserable or do they just like to complain? Some people complain no matter what job they have!
    Jon @ Be Net Worthy recently posted…The Yakezie Challenge – Three Month UpdateMy Profile

    • Apathy Ends Apathy Ends

      You can’t (or shouldn’t) complain if you dont do something about it! Some people are truly miserable, and are a cancer in their org.

  8. Interesting advice! I suppose a similar solution would be to create your own career by starting your own business. Which is more risky and perhaps harder, but perhaps more rewarding…
    Daniel Palmer recently posted…Beyond Saving for a Rainy DayMy Profile

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