Job Crafting

March 11th, 2014

Job crafting is a term coined in 2001 by researchers studying how people find satisfaction in their jobs. They found that the individuals who derived the most gratification at work did not do so by staying busy or climbing to the top of the corporate ladder. Instead, the trick seemed to be in finding ways to bring passion to any given position. The most satisfied workers shaped their existing jobs to fit their particular set of skills.

Since 2001, job crafting has become a tool used by employers and coaches across the country with participants reporting increased enthusiasm and energy for their work. After job crafting, employees who were unhappy and considering changing jobs suddenly find that they are in exactly the right place, they just needed to fine-tune their work to engage their unique personality.

How it Works.

First, decide what it is you want to do differently. Would you like to do more of one task and less of another? Are you looking for more or less personal interaction? Do you want to refocus your efforts wider (to see you efforts in the larger scope of the organization) or are you happier zeroing in on one specific task? It is important to note that you are not changing your job description, but simply considering what parts of your job you like best and why.

Second, consider how the changes you would like to make will impact the company. It is critical that any changes be a win-win for you and the company. Say, for instance, you work in the marketing department and really enjoy the 10% of your job that involves writing. You might propose starting a company blogĀ  – a task that absolutely fits within the scope of your department and would be something you would look forward to doing. Win-win.

Third, talk with your supervisor about your ideas. Be prepared to discuss how you will make time for the new task and understand that it might take a while to see results. Simply by having the discussion you are making your boss aware of what your interests are so that when an opportunity comes along, she will know whom to tap for the work.

Lastly, check in with those around you. When you start a new task, ask your employer how she thinks the new arrangement is working. Talk to your coworkers to make sure they feel that workloads are being handled equitably.

Even the smallest changes can make us feel more engaged, valued, and respected. Over time, those small changes add up. Keep an ever-watchful eye for opportunities, and you just might find that you have crafted the perfect job for you.