New Year Needs New Job Description

Define your own job. Sounds like the stuff of dreams, right? Or nightmares.

Some of the hardest times in my life have been those when I was faced with myriad possibilities. Trying to decide where to go to college and what to major in stands out as a prime example. Robert Frost’s two paths may be popular for commencement speeches, but narrowing your future down to just an A/B choice like that is not easy at all. Too many options can leave you paralyzed with indecision.

I’ve been feeling a bit like that again lately when after the most recent organizational change in my department (that came even before the higher level changes at my employer), my manager asked me what I saw my job as going forward. We’re about to launch a new content management system and the content I’ve been responsible for on Dell.com is the first to make the transition. When that happens, my job must evolve. Much of how that would happen remains fluid and undefined. So, I’ve been a bit paralyzed trying to decide how to define my job responsibilities when so much is still unknown.

And complicating things more now than they were when I was just a senior in high school is the fact that it’s not just all about me any more. I have a husband whose straight-commission job is not going well (the current economy is just not that good for car sales/leasing) and I have a young daughter who needs food, shelter, love, direction … and time. This leads you to be a little less daring, more interested in defining a job that you know your employer needs.

The holidays should have been the perfect time away from the office for me to do some deep thinking and introspection; but they’ve passed, and I’ve managed to use them to avoid concentrating on this instead. Deadlines have always driven me, though (hence the reason I chose a journalism degree back when I was making that big decision) and the time is here for me to sit down and define my own goals much the same way Aaron Brazell’s friend JessieX did.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

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4 comments

  1. Mark Burhop · January 3, 2009

    I swear there are only 2 degrees of separation in social media. I know JessieX as she ended up in my industry of 3D design. She knows here stuff and looking back at Aaron’s post, I see why.

    I also met Aaron at one of my company’s events. I wish I could go back in time and pick his brain. It was only after talking to JessieX that I found out she already knew him and rather well.

    And now I find you quoting them both. It is amazing to watch how SM can allow you to connect to the people that are valuable to you or have valuable information. It is no wonder companies are wanting to tap into this.

    Mark

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  2. adrienne Lallo · January 4, 2009

    Laura, you may be experiencing the “shoe to drop” syndrome… how will things play out so that you can participate and help steer direction, rather than just be bumped along. It’s hard to make decisions when you don’t have all the facts. And at our level, we never have all the facts!

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  3. Laura Thomas, ABC · January 4, 2009

    Mark – it is increasingly a small world, isn’t it? I’m glad to have had the opportunity to meet and learn from so many people – both in real life and “just” online.

    Adrienne – bingo! and when I’ve asked some people what they need so that I can work to meet those needs, they usually just turn it back around and ask what I can offer (which is myriad, thanks to my deliberate and constant expansion of my skill set). On the one hand, I understand taking responsibility for my own career; but, on the other, you just have to wonder if anyone has all the facts they/we need. 😉

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  4. Mark · January 13, 2009

    Good luck in writing your job decription. The good news is that you are in control. Write it as if you were the reviewer and imagine what they would expect. I am sure it will all come to you in the middle of the night.

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