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How flexible is your job description?

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How flexible is your job description?

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A lot of our behaviours in the workplace originate from the job descriptions we’re given when we join a company.  These descriptions often form the basis of both our pay, our bonuses and of course our performance reviews.

As a construct however they tend to be very rigid, and often ensure that employees barely scratch the surface of their knowledge and ability.  Due to their influence over pay and appraisals they also encourage employees to stick to a very narrow range of tasks, often therefore passing over opportunities to lend their insights to areas and problems that are not in their job descriptions.

An interesting alternative is suggested by Amy Wrzesniewski and Jane Dutton, from Yale and the University of Michigan respectively.  Their concept of job crafting takes a slightly more innovative approach to job descriptions that sees employees add tasks and responsibilities that more closely match their personal interests and values.

Amy and Jane have created a job crafting exercise to help you do this.  It involves creating a picture of how you currently spend your time and energy, before then creating a visual ‘after’ diagram of how you’d like to modify your job in the future.

If you’d like to find out more about job crafting, you can watch the video below, or alternatively read a pdf explaining the process here.

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