Writing Your Own Job Description


Following up on last week’s post Using the Power of Intention in Your Job Search (Part 1), here’s some specific ideas to add to your assignment to write your own job description.

First of all, what details are important to YOU? Job Title? Salary? Benefits? Work Environment? Commute? What specific skills and responsibilities are included?

Here are some more examples to get you thinking from clients of mine. Some have shared details such as: wanting a job that doesn’t require a lot of Excel spreadsheets; one friend doesn’t want to work from home; another values a really good health package; another needs a flexible schedule so she can attend her children’s sporting events.

Maybe you really want contact with the public in your work; perhaps you loathe working on the telephone; or it could be that you thrive in a vibrant, multi-tasking, fast paced environment. Do you work happiest in a large corporation or a mom-and-pop shop? Do you wear business suits or overalls? Are you sitting behind a desk, are you constantly driving to see clients around the county? Do you work long hours and weekends to climb the ladder, or do you work 2 part-time jobs for more variety and flexibility?

Do you see where I’m going with this? These examples are just a beginning. I believe What Color Is Your Parachute and know The Job Hunter’s Survival Guide have info on a similar process to this to excavate what you really want in a job. I list more specific questions to ask based on categories of The People, The Tasks, and The Environment of your next job in my former blog post The Nature of Work that apply here, too, so you’ll want to check that out, too.

You have to be clear on what is important to you, and what you will and will not be flexible about or sacrifice for a job (if anything).

  • Have a realistic salary in mind by carefully considering all angles (benefits, including amount of paid vacation, 401K options, etc.)
  • Consider gas /child care costs for that company & location
  • Know how you want to spend your working hours—what activities do you do each day for your work
  • Know what kind of people and company environment you want to be surrounded by
  • Is it type of work the company does important to you?
  • Does their company vision and mission statement inspire or bore you, or doesn’t it matter much?

Remember, the only right answers to ANY of these questions are whatever the honest and true answers are to YOU. Yes, I want each of you to get a job, but what I REALLY want is for each of you to find happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction in that job in the ways that are meaningful and important to YOU.

You have to know ahead of time what the offer will be like when it’s the one that’s right for you. Getting crystal clear on what you want, in as much detail as possible, will not only help you clarify your job search, but will also help that very type of opportunity come to you. Once you are clear, you have to set your intention that you will receive it. Two important things to remember are to act as if what you want is already true in the present, and, to focus on what you want (vs. what you don’t want).

For those inclined to do so, consider even making a collage of your new job, using pictures and phrases you cut from magazines, etc. to represent the way your work space looks, to show the type of work you are doing, to symbolize the way you will feel once you surmount the challenge of the job search process and triumphantly report to your new position, the one you envisioned and longed for. If you’ve already done such a visual representation of what you want (sometimes called a Vision Board), I’d LOVE it if you’d send me pictures of it and your story to share with others! One of my mentors, Christine Kane, offers great free guidelines on this – check it out on this link to The Complete Guide to Vision Boards – it’s a great resource!

If some of this seems odd to you, consider this—-is giving it a try going to hurt anything? You’re unemployed, you have time on your hands. So go ahead & get out a pen and notebook & brainstorm some lists, or some magazines, scissors and glue and some poster board & get creative!

Take a drive past that company you’ve heard is such a good one that’s near your house and imagine your 5 minute commute there every day. Stop in and pick up their annual report (dress nicely!). Post sticky notes on your bathroom mirror with the job title you desire. Why not? Take steps to envision what you really want before it’s actually happened. Pretend it already has! Do you dare to try something different?

Have as much fun as possible with this process, as well as the job search nitty gritty cover letter & resume sending this week. You still have to do those concrete action steps along with all this fun visioning and visual stuff, too, of course!