Your Job Isn’t Your Job DescriptionThe other day I wrote about professional development and what you can do to become better at your craft.

I hope I gave you something to think about.

Today, though, I want to touch another sensitive subject: Your job description.

Why is This a Sensitive Subject?

It shouldn’t be.

Yet, many professionals focus on their job description and miss many learning opportunities.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, “This isn’t in my job description,” I would probably be very rich by now.

It is a sensitive subject because many would rather stay in a box and follow the “prescriptions” rather than go outside of their comfort zone.

I get it, going outside of your comfort zone is anything but comfortable.

So why should you choose uncomfortable, when you can do things as you’ve always done them, receive your paycheck and get on with your life?

Because you’re lying to yourself.

Things are not how they used to be.

The digital web brought diversity to the workplace, a much bigger “pool” for employers to choose from, and a LOT of competition for your job.

Scary, huh?

Not if you’re smart.

Why Your Job isn’t Your Job Description

Your job isn’t your job description, your job is what you make of it.

Let me give you today’s world job description, which you can apply to every industry and niche, whether you’re a seasoned professional or are a newly minted graduate.

Your job is…

  • To provide value. It’s about what you do, how you do it, and how your colleagues and peers can benefit from your work.
  • To be creative. This goes along the same line as providing value. You need to be looking for creative ways to do your job, to get better results faster.
  • To be fast. How quickly you understand your client’s or boss’s challenge and are able to solve it makes the difference between a rock-star employee and a regular one. Which would you like to be?
  • To learn. In today’s world, you can’t expect your leader to ask you to learn something new. YOU need to be out there looking for new things to learn that can help you better do your job, and increase your value as a professional. The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know. And yet…
  • To be flexible. There is a huge difference between having 20 years of experience doing the same thing as always, and 20 years of experiences in different landscapes, jobs, or companies. Believe it or not, the former is one year of experience repeated 20 times, while the latter is about 20 years of different, challenging experiences that lead to today’s professional. Too many people are focused on the number, rather than on what they can bring to the table and how it can improve the bottom line.
  • To challenge. Hiding behind your job description won’t make you the first in line for promotions. Any organization’s rock-star, any successful entrepreneur goes for the challenge. They don’t back away when things get hard, they fight and figure out a way to do things.

As Chase Jarvis says “you’re creating and re-creating your job every day.”

Choose to make a difference, choose to be a success, choose to learn, choose to embrace challenges with a smile and determination.

It’s up to you to define your job description. Don’t make it short!

image credit: shutterstock

Corina Manea

Corina Manea is the chief community officer at Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She works directly with Spin Sucks students and writes for the award-winning PR blog. She also is the founder of NutsPR. Join the Spin Sucks  community!

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