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woman in office searching on her computer for a job rather than job crafting

5 Signs You Should Try to Job Craft Instead of Doing a Job Search

We’ve all had those days when you drum your fingers on the dashboard and think “I need to quit.”

Maybe you had a disagreement with your manager, your commute was painful, or you were bored to tears. Maybe it was just one of those days when nothing was going your way, or you’ve been feeling you haven't been doing meaningful work for months and a straw came along in the form of a terse email and it broke the camel’s back.

Before you send that resignation letter to head onto what may or may not be greener pastures, it’s worth seeing if there is an opportunity to redesign your job description in your current role.

What is Job Crafting

Job Crafting is a process of making adjustments in your current position so that the job you have now becomes a job you love again. Those adjustments may be different for each person, but some ideas include taking on an interesting project, raising your hand to join a new committee, requesting a work-from-home arrangement, or setting boundaries with colleagues.

The benefits of job crafting are that you don’t need to go through the job search process (right now), you can retain your stability in your current role, and you can prepare yourself for a future move by boosting your confidence and potentially learning new skills.

Curious if job crafting is for you? Check out these 5 signs that job crafting instead of job searching might be for you.

1. Big parts of your job are great, except...

Often people will jump to start a job search or accept an offer for a new position because of shiny object syndrome. For example, you’re offered a new salary, a bigger office, a fully remote job, or an important title.

However, those jumps don’t always work out the way people would like because a number of tasks that were truly causing their job dissatisfaction are present in the new role too, or they are exacerbated.

As an initial job crafting exercise, determine the one or two most important things that would need to change in your current role to increase your job satisfaction and then assess what power you have to make those changes. Perhaps you can negotiate your salary, work from home twice a week, or approach an old project with a new creative lens. Test out your hypothesis at your current job knowing that job searching can still be an option if this job craft isn’t ideal.

2. You have a great manager.

If you have a supportive manager who is invested in your career development, a conversation about job design or task crafting could be welcome and encouraged.

Even the best managers can’t read your mind, so it’s important that you share your career goals and come to your manager with solutions. Set up a one to one conversation to discuss your job crafting plans and provide a clear plan on how you will continue to fulfill your job responsibilities while making some changes to your schedule/deliverables/style that will benefit you and the team. One of the most important types of job crafting is relationship crafting.

3. You’ve seen models of success.

Have other team members successfully crafted their roles? If so, there could be potential within your company to make changes in your position as well.

Talk with colleagues within your company that are doing work that interests you or who have a work arrangement you find appealing. Ask them about how they have approached conversations around job crafting with their manager to build your own job crafting model. Or seek their advice on how to successfully work on cross-functional teams or propose a job share.

4. Now isn’t the right time to make a change.

There may never be a perfect time to job search, but there are life circumstances that make making a change at a certain point in time particularly undesirable.

For example, you and your family are planning a move in 6 months so staying in your current role makes sense for now. Or, you are managing a health issue and need the stability of your current job and healthcare plan. There are any number of reasons it could make sense for you to press pause on the job search.

However, just because you aren’t going to make a move now doesn’t mean you can’t be happier in your job. See the suggestions above for how to think about job crafting to make the short term more fulfilling or a better fit for your life while knowing you have the consistency you need at this time.

5. Job Crafting will help in your Job Search.

Lastly, even if you feel ready to start a new job right now, maybe that new job demands resources to further prove that you are the right fit for the role. That’s where job crafting to gain experience comes in.

Let’s say you are targeting a management role, and your current position does not include any direct management responsibilities. Are there projects you could take on that would allow you to show how you lead a team? Or you may want to move into a technical position that requires you to use specific software or data analytics tools. Could you bring any of those tools into your current role to make a process more efficient?

Job crafting in this way benefits your current employer because they get a re-energized and innovative teammate - that’s you! It also allows you to add new accomplishment-based bullet points to your resume that provide evidence you have the skills needed to take on the next position.

Find more resources about your career journey!

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