Why You Don’t Want a Job Description

What does your resume look like? Is it neat? Does your work and experience fit into neat categories? Is there a clear line between where you went to school, what you did at university and where you have worked for years? Not me. I am, after all, the servant of chaos.

Along the way I have been provided many opportunities, opened some myself and learned plenty along the way. I have come from accounting and economics into drama and performance, stopped by higher study (one day I would like to be Dr Servant of Chaos), done some teaching, theatre directing, book editing and ran my own small business for a while. I wrote technical documentation, created online learning, became a project manager, graphic design, web developer, started a new business, grew a team, commercialised technology "innovation" and managed knowledge all in a stint with IBM. I think I had a job description for about the first five minutes … then it got more interesting from there.

My next boss steadfastly refused to give me a job description. He told me that the job I was taking wasn’t "that kind of job". It was more free form, less cog, more oil.

I was reminded of this while reading over Seth Godin’s Change This short version of Small is the New Big. He has a section where he is talking about the challenges of innovation — something I have been harping on about over the last couple of days. He talks about the need to constantly reinvent and push our own innovative approach to our work — and that YOUR success is dependent upon measuring YOUR OWN worth, not waiting for a job description to do so. But enough about me … take the words from Mr Godin:

The end result is that it’s essentially impossible to become successful or well-off doing a job that is described and measured by someone else.

This is WHY you don’t want a job description.


4 thoughts on “Why You Don’t Want a Job Description

  1. The newsletter from the chaps over at B3TA’s zeitgeist collection of flashtastic irreverence has amused me and stolen hours from my employers for years.
    I’m gonna do a Molly Meldrum: ‘do yourself a favour, check these guys out’.
    They’re a pretty good example of writing your own job description and essentially make it up as you go along.
    Have a look at this blog entry from their latest project the Sickipedia : Free is the new advertising

  2. Katie … thanks for the link. It is good to see others like to make it up as they go too!
    Diana … great to hear from you – you are too kind!

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