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Why Your Job Description Is Irrelevant

It’s more about roles, skills and expertise.

If you’re unemployed, you don’t have a job.

And even if you’re employed, you still don’t have a job.

In fact, if you’re smart about it, you don’t even want to have a job.

In a blog post from more than 10 years ago, Josh Bersin, former President and CEO of Bersin & Associates and former partner with Deloitte, discussed the end of a job as we know it.  And from what we’re seeing with clients, it’s still just as true, if not more so, today.

People no longer have jobs.
Instead, they have roles, often very broad roles.

Your job description is more and more being ignored.
And you shouldn’t care, because the focus is rightfully on your skills and abilities.

You’re not proud because you’re responsible for a function.
Instead, you’re eager to be known as an expert, a troubleshooter, a problem-solver, a contributor, etc.

You don’t have clout because of your title.
You have clout because those in other divisions, departments, teams (whom you’re now working with more and more) feel you’re worthy of their trust and respect.  In short, you deliver and you’re transparent.

You don’t move up vertically.
Instead, you advance by deepening and expanding your skills and knowledge.  Often that means moving horizontally; and you don’t view that as bad.

You ignore those who tell you to “play to your strengths” or find “your sweet spot”.
Instead, you relentlessly add to your strengths and strive to develop multiple sweet spots.

You avoid saying, “That’s not my job” or “I wasn’t hired to do that.”
You fully recognize that what you were originally needed for when you were hired has changed, and will continue to change.  Moreover, you’d rather be needed, than not needed, even if it means doing something different than what’s on your “job description”.

You don’t think of jobs and careers.
You think of skills & expertise and finding opportunities to deploy them and develop new ones, continually.

You’re no longer comfortable because you have a job.
Instead, in the spirit of Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel, you prefer to be just a tiny bit paranoid of becoming obsolete, because it keeps you motivated, fresh, and eager to learn and grow.