I’ve been fortunate to have had opportunities during my career to create jobs. Ultimately I even ended up creating customized jobs for myself, based on bringing my best talents and passions to giving great value to my employer.
In this article, I’m going to describe the general approach. In the next ones, I’ll walk you through the process of creating a job which could just be the most exciting work you’ve ever done.
First, let’s recognize that EVERY job was created by someone, at some point in time. Your job description might have been invented by your boss in order to hire you. Or it may be a job role defined by someone back in 1910 who had no idea that people would still be using it a century later.
Job descriptions are created as the best possible balance between:
- short term and long term value delivered to the organization;
- the cost of getting someone in that role; and
- interactions with other roles around it.
“Value” is itself a complex formula which includes what the employee delivers, how that is used by other people, how it impacts what customers pay, and so on. “Cost” includes salary, benefits, hiring, cost of managing the role, expectations set about maintaining that employee in the future, associated risks, and other factors.
The reason why I’m explaining this is that it sets the context for how to create your own job description. A typical process for creating a job is:
- Identify the need, the value that would be provided.
- Look around for existing similar job descriptions that would seem to be a good fit.
- Tweak as appropriate, including making a generic job description more specific.
- Evaluate the cost, direct and indirect, of creating and maintaining that job.
- Ensure approval, buy-in and support of others affected by this new job.
- Start the hiring and selection process.
As you can see, there’s already some degree of customization involved in this. Your company’s culture and rules will govern how much is normal. There will be a variety of people (stakeholders and gatekeepers) involved in refining and approving a job description.
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Series on Creating a Custom Job Out of Thin Air
- Part 1: How Are Jobs Normally Created?
- Part 2: Establishing the Compelling Organizational Need
- Part 3: Describing How Value Would Be Provided
- Part 4: Others Affected by the Job
- Part 5: Stakeholders and Gatekeepers
- Part 6: Courage, Follow-Through, and Accountability
by Carl Dierschow