Numerous times bosses said to me, ‘This is a place where you determine your next job’ or ‘You can create your next job’. After attempting to create my next position at a number of companies, I questioned the reality of these statement. Creating your next opportunity is difficult, very difficult. But as it depends on numerous external factors, your efforts might lead to something unexpected somewhere else.
The first time I succeeded at this was as a junior designer. For no other reason than it sounded cool, I wanted to work abroad. My boss knew and the opportunity presented itself only a couple months after being hired full time. It was luck. My qualifications inside the company matched their needs in Europe. Today, I still live in Amsterdam because I got the job that didn’t exist and seemed impossible. Since then, it hasn’t been so easy.
Your goals versus the company’s
We all have a vision of our next role. There are projects we would rather focus our time on and tasks that better suit our skill set. After years at a company, it only makes sense that we would take on more complex or specialised projects. This might be your thought process, but it doesn’t mean the company aligns. You were hired for a reason, and your success in your current position adds value to the company. Showing another way takes time.
Be prepared for the long-haul
To create your new job position, your company needs to train new people, create your job position in the system, find the budget and do other HR things to do it properly - even interview other candidates. This is when everyone agrees with your proposal. The latter could take months or, more realistically, years. Many times your plan works from luck. Someone resigns, new leadership wants to make changes or your threats of quitting persuades otherwise.
Could lead to to something else
You should always be thinking about your next job title and making the moves to get there. Just recognise the job you want might be elsewhere. When you start to truly believe in your next job move, and after your current work refused, the lure to look elsewhere will be too strong. Since you tried so hard at your existing company to get this new position, you’ll know exactly what you are looking for. This knowledge and dedication will be evident to others.
My second attempt to make my own job did not work. I wanted to be a trend and consumer director for international markets. I worked with my immediate boss to make this a reality for numerous years. Years. There were many conversations, projects and initiatives put in place, but at some point I realised it wasn’t possible on my terms. This is the time I decided to look elsewhere for a healthy change. Thus, I did not create my next job, but I did the initial legwork to find another one elsewhere.
Always explore, always question and always strive to get what you envision for yourself. Your efforts matter in the long-run as trying to create a new job leads to new opportunities. Questioning yourself and proving you vision will only make your goal more realistic and tangible. Just realise the position you imaged might materialise in another company or endeavour.