Author Topic: Wrote my own job description!  (Read 378 times)

LPG

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Wrote my own job description!
« on: October 23, 2018, 10:10:48 AM »
I've never been a frequent poster on this forum, generally preferring to read other people's posts, but have made a few in the last year talking about job dissatisfaction and searching for my next move. A few months ago, I finally felt like I had found a good place. The office is located right where I want to be, the culture is very focused on producing value rather than solely getting paid, the culture is flexible and friendly, etc. I've even been to a few happy hours with the entire company and had several conversations about ways we could collaborate. And I've really enjoyed the vibe at these times; primarily highly enthusiastic, engaged, friendly people*.

When I started to feel really intrigued by this company, I reached out to the president telling her that I was interested. She very enthusiastically scheduled a time for us to talk on the phone, and see what we could make happen. It was a great conversation, talking about interesting potential projects and opportunities. The current challenge, and reason I haven't moved yet, is that I'm a researcher and the company doesn't have an existing research division. I'd be starting one, and we have to take some time to lay the groundwork for success. Great, fine, yeah, I'm in. This is both an exciting opportunity for me, and a sign that she will engage to help make sure things go smoothly for other people there**.

Here's where things get really fun for me. Since the company doesn't have a research division, and the president doesn't have a research background, she doesn't really know what researchers do or what to ask for. She didn't know how to write a job description for me, and asked me to do her a "favor" and write one myself (Favor for her, or opportunity for me? Both!). I loved it! I couldn't believe that I had the chance to tell a company what I want to do for a living, instead of the other way around. I have the chance to lay the groundwork for doing a job that I find deeply satisfying every day. Hell, yes.

Oh, and of course I wrote two job descriptions. One for where things stand now (Me acting as a fairly independent researcher), and another for when we've brought in more research work than I can do and somebody needs to take the role of director for the division.


*Primarily because, well, no place is 100% and this is no exception.
**This has been one of my major complaints at my current job. Nobody engages with anybody else on anything. Hence I'm really, really looking for it in my job search.

thesis

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Re: Wrote my own job description!
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2018, 11:27:21 AM »
That's awesome, way to go!

Opportunities like that are extremely rare, so power to you :). Hopefully things go well there, it sounds promising

Cwadda

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Re: Wrote my own job description!
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2018, 11:41:21 AM »
This is great to hear about. I've been in the job hunting process for around a month and it hasn't been the most exciting. I've been trying a similar process to your own - reaching out to interesting companies I'm interested in for informational interviews. The responses so far have only been lukewarm at best. Any pointers?

Also, it sounds like the company is fairly small. How did you go about finding these companies?

Thanks,
cwadda

LPG

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Re: Wrote my own job description!
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2018, 04:33:51 PM »
This is great to hear about. I've been in the job hunting process for around a month and it hasn't been the most exciting. I've been trying a similar process to your own - reaching out to interesting companies I'm interested in for informational interviews. The responses so far have only been lukewarm at best. Any pointers?

Also, it sounds like the company is fairly small. How did you go about finding these companies?

Thanks,
cwadda

Job hunting can be a beast, that's for sure. I've been at it for over a year now, trying to take my time and make a good choice. I don't know how many pointed I have, but I'll jot down a few thoughts. Hopefully some of them are helpful:
  • I think it's important to remember that there's similarity between job interviews and first dates. You're going to find a lot of them really, really uninspiring. It doesn't necessarily mean you're doing something wrong, it just means that job isn't the right one. I've interviewed several places in the past year, turning down several possibilities. Some because the work seemed dull, others because the work seemed fine but the culture wasn't a fit. Sometimes you just gotta keep looking until you find a fit.
  • I've found that the experience is completely different when applying to places I know through my network as opposed to applying to an unknown company via an online portal. Without any background relationship it feels very high stakes; you get a 30 minute phone call and a 1 hour meeting to a) Convince them to hire you, and b) Determine that you want the job. I find that really stressful. I've had much better experiences using my network, talking to other people in the industry about opportunities where they work. This both gives me information about potential open jobs, and insider information on what working there is like. It also lead to me being much more relaxed in the interview, since I don't feel a need to divine nearly as much information as I would otherwise.
  • Don't be shy! Say what you really want during the process! This particular place is a company that I found a bit over three years ago, and had previously discussed starting a research division with. I backed out because I didn't feel up to the challenge at the time (I had the technical skills, but absolutely no business development experience). When I started my search again, I looked up their website and saw that they're hiring for consultants doing their typical (Non-research) work. I applied for the position with a cover letter saying that I didn't want to do anything of the sort, and now feel up to the challenge of starting a research division. The president of the company was delighted. This, of course, requires a certain president and won't work in most companies but, if you know what you want to do and have the luxury of searching slowly, getting rejected for doing that is a sign that you wouldn't be able to do what you wanted there anyway.
  • It can be very hard to reach out cold to a company, where you have no relationship, and say that you want an informational interview or try to prolong the interview process. If they don't have a relationship with you, they won't want to. But if they know you and think you can offer something they can be much more accommodating. Are there ways you can start to make a relationship beforehand? Do they put on seminars you can attend, or webinars you can call in to? Can you be an active participant in these events? That could be a way to get your foot in the door so that when you ask for an informational interview it's "Cwadda" reaching out instead of "Some random person." This helped me get my foot in the door at one company I was very interested in, but they haven't had a good role for me open up recently.

Good luck.