Edition: July 1st, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS
- Excerpts from article by Dan Cable, published in the Harvard Business Review
A lot of us grew up thinking that when we got hired by a company, we would have to do exactly what was written in our job description.
To be fair, that made sense in the past when most people were rewarded for doing what they were told. But these days, that mindset doesn’t work so well.
Between rapid technological changes and shifting customer expectations, many roles can’t adapt quickly enough to stay relevant.
If you do exactly what you were hired to do, odds are, you will eventually become outdated. Plus, you will feel bored and uninspired.
Each of us has our own ideas, natural strengths and a desire to learn new things.
“Doing what we are told” is not a good recipe for fulfilment or great work. Neither is “putting your head down” and “shutting off” to get through the workday.
However, there is a solution:
Job crafting is basically just taking the initiative to personalise your current role. It is a mindset — and a skill — that allows you to shape, mould, and redefine your job so that it feels energising and stays relevant. You can start practising today, little by little, and use it for the rest of your career.
Job crafting works best when you personalise your work around your superpowers or the distinctive strengths and interests that make you exceptional.
There are 3 ways in which you can bring your superpowers into your job: processes, people and purpose.
How do I use my strengths to bring more of myself into the work?
- The way most of us think about work is – you shouldn’t expect to like it.
- You, too, might have grown up with this mentality, but it’s a recipe for burnout and disappointment.
- Crafting your job to your strengths is much more fulfilling than doing a job you dislike for a paycheck.
- With the right mindset: take the initiative to bring an exciting new task into our work.
- Think of it as a way to create your own non-financial rewards – something that will get you charged up after waking up in the morning!
How can I improve my relationships at work so that they are more inspiring?
- It may seem like you don’t have much of a choice when it comes to your colleagues.
- In most cases, we can be selective about the peers we choose to surround ourselves with.
- Even if you have no choice in terms of who you work with, you may still be able to re-craft the quality of your relationships.
- Try this: Choose two people you interact with regularly and write them an email describing two memories you have of times they helped you or the organisation. The more specific you are, the stronger bond you will create.
- Stories of gratitude build connectivity – people will appreciate your efforts and your relationships will improve.
What story do I tell myself about why I do this work? Can I make the narrative more inspiring?
- Some people wait for their boss, or group leader, to give them a sense of purpose.
- Igniting a sense of purpose within yourself takes more than a lofty speech or a mission statement.
- In the end, purpose is all about understanding your impact on others, and developing a story about why you do what you do.
- You can develop a better narrative about the “why” that drives your behaviors.
- Invest some time learning about your customers – the people who need your work to accomplish their goals.
- Talk to people. Ask them what about your work makes their lives better or worse.
- This will help you figure out what new tasks you can take on that are interesting to you and useful to others.
- Try to personalise the purpose of the task so that you find it more inspiring.
- If you can find a story that feels like it matters to you, you’ll be more excited by your work and have more stamina.
Remember that moving from a traditional job mindset to a job-crafting mindset doesn’t change everything at once. You still have to help your company achieve its objectives. But your work will feel more meaningful. And your employer will get more out of you.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)