Five tips for creating your own job
If you’re having trouble finding a job that fits your skills and experience – whether that experience is virtually none or senior management level – maybe it’s time to consider creating your own job. It’s not as hard or as crazy as it might seem at first.
Every single job in the world had to be done by someone first. Someone had to be the first to say, “I will promote your business for you so you can focus on other things” and become the first Director of Marketing. Someone had to be the first to design a website for someone else and charge money.
Not everyone is going to invent a revolutionary job. You could just as easily find yourself creating a space for yourself doing something that already exists and starting your own business doing it (if you do that Try to keep your startup costs low and to spend money as you make it. The gig, remote, online, shared economy make that more possible than ever).
I’m just pointing out that you can invent jobs that don’t exist. People do it all the time.
The possibilities are pretty open. Let’s explore some of them.
Here are 5 tips for creating your own job when you can’t find something that suits you among those that already exist.
Figure out the logical extension of the job you have already: I’m a former journalist turned content marketer. Like thousands of other journalists, I created this job for myself when newspapers and magazines started firing staff and killing freelance budgets en masse. We started learning to code, to understand analytics, and to grow audiences. We did this on our own because it was the logical extension of our jobs and it was what we had to do to survive. We created a whole new career path out of necessity. What is the logical extension of your job? How could you take it into the future?
Ask yourself what’s missing: If you already work for a company, is there an area that needs drastic improvement that you could step into? Do they need a new website, social media presence, or product? Map how that would look and spell out the value proposition (which is corporate jargon for how it will help make money) and present it to the management team. Maybe they’ll just give you the go ahead. If you can’t get carte blanche to do your own thing, ask your manager if you can spend some time on it, while performing fewer of your other duties. If you can prove that it’s a good idea, maybe you’ll be able to take on a new position.
Find what you love: Barf, right? Yes, this sounds cliché and useless. But it’s not entirely. What you love is often what you’re good at and what you spend a lot of time on. My friend Domini Anne created a business with a focus on workout wear that doubles as funky streetwear (she also makes wedding dresses) because her loves are movement and sewing. (Note that if what you love is acting, modelling, or singing, you’ll probably have a harder time though, because those markets are kind of saturated).
Don’t get stuck on what you love: At the end of the day though, what matters is where you can fill a need and make money. Any kind of work can probably be enjoyable.
Just do it: Ignore the voice in your head that says you can’t, and every time you doubt yourself, push through and keep going. Yes, you might fail. But it will be better than never having tried. Maybe it’s simple. Maybe you love gardening and it’s as simple as starting your own landscaping business. Here is a list of businesses you can start for under $100. Or maybe you should start a travelling nail art business in downtown Toronto that comes to my area (I swear, I would be your best customer. Someone please do this!).
I can’t tell you what to come up with. You have to do that on your own. But you can if you put your mind to it, I bet.
I have faith in you.