Do you find it hard to describe your job?

Today I spoke to a colleague who is thinking of quitting. But she’s afraid.

Not afraid she won’t find something else (she’s very employable).

But afraid she won’t be able to explain what she does, so she won’t be able to explain why her skills make her a good fit for another role.

Here are some tips if you find yourself in the same position:

1. Forget your job title

Job titles reflect internal structure – they are relative to your colleagues’ titles. So they’re of no use if you want to leave.

2. Steal from others

Maybe your current industry doesn’t have a good description for what you do. So what? Maybe another industry is better at descriptions. Example: much of my work over the last few years was as a Product Manager. I didn’t know what a Product Manager was until about 18 months ago. But it’s close enough that I can read PM job descriptions and figure out a good one for myself.

3. Word to your grandmother

Your grandma should be able to understand your description. So no jargon or buzzwords.

4. Customise

Change it if you change what you’re aiming to do. What makes your description good is its relevance to what you want to do next.

5. Practice

Get your description down-pat. It should be short and sharp (I am bad at this). That way you will sound confident and capable.

It takes time – for me, about 100 people have to hear a crappy job description before the 101st gets a good one. But I know from listening to my own crappy descriptions those first 100 times that it makes a big difference when you get it right.



Image credit: Tyler Shields – Mouthful

Author: toddmgreen

I really like making internet projects. I work on apps, games and websites at a TV company. I write stuff, make stuff, and accidentally break stuff. You should probably follow me on Twitter - @toddmgreen.

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