Creating Your Ideal Job Description
Your Golden Ticket to Career Fulfillment
Why This Exercise is Important – Be Proactive
I hear time and time again from people that they want to start being proactive in their career. Many of the professionals I coach share a similar story. They say their careers, up until this point, have “just sort of happened.” They admit there hasn’t been any planning or forethought and they’ve accepted positions in the past simply because “that’s what was offered.”
These professionals have reached the point at which they’re tired of settling for merely what’s offered. They want to start making career choices from a position of informed power. This career success guide affords you the opportunity to do just that by developing your ideal job description.
What You Will Get Out of This Exercise
This capstone power activity will draw together all the pieces you’ve worked on thus far and bring them into sharp focus. It will provide clarity on the direction you want to take your career.
Your ideal job description will be invaluable as you move forward in your professional life. It will serve as a guidepost to help you make sound decisions and will be a strong reminder of what’s most important to you both personally and professionally.
Of course, there is no way to know for sure whether a job will work out exactly as you’d like. But having your ideal job description in hand will increase the odds you’ll choose wisely. And, most importantly, it will help you feel in control.
As you’re weighing future career options, you can compare the pros and cons of each opportunity against your ideal job description. You can check in with yourself by asking questions like:
- Does this opportunity compliment my greatest strengths?
- Is it in alignment with my professional passions?
- Is it a match with my personal and career priorities?
- Does the salary and benefits package meet my requirements?
- Does it allow me to utilize my preferred work style?
- Is the employer size, sector and culture right for me?
This exercise will bring you focus, self-knowledge, and power. With this document in your arsenal, you will make career decisions from a position of well-informed strength.
It’s true your very next job may not be your ideal job. In fact, it probably won’t be because you’ll have to work your way toward that. However, your ideal job description equips you with the vision of your ultimate destination. Once your vision is in place, you can proactively plan backwards to achieve your dream.
If You Could Not Fail
As you’re drafting your job description, keep it low pressure. Remember, you’re simply brainstorming. This does not have to be the “end all be all” of job descriptions. As your writing, repeat this mantra to yourself: “If I could not fail…”
Ask yourself: “If I could not fail, what would my dream job look like?” Do not censor your thoughts. For example, if you want to be part of a film crew, but you currently work in the medical field, do not dismiss this wish. Write it down anyway.
Keep returning to the mantra and let it liberate you to dream big! There’s nothing holding you back and this is your chance to create your dream job. Don’t let the “what if’s” and “yeah buts” have any space in your mind.
Job Description Elements
The following are the elements you can include in your Ideal Job Description:
- Employer Overview
- Position Overview
- Required Experience
- Required Skills
- Duties and Responsibilities
- Reporting and Team Structure
- Salary and Benefits
Later in this guide, you’ll find a blank template you can use to develop your description. The template includes a section for each of the above listed elements. However, you don’t have to fill out each section. Feel free to leave out the items that aren’t relevant to your ideal job.
Exercise Instructions: Your Ideal Job Description
Approximate completion time: One – Two Hours
Can be completed in 15 minute increments
Exercise Overview: Developing a job description incorporating the key elements you’ve defined in the previous exercises
This can feel like a challenging exercise so just do the best you can. It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, perfection is not the goal here. The only goal is solid, creative brainstorming.
Review the Job Description Example provided below. As you’re reading it, keep in mind this is a “high end” example. Your next position may not be at this level yet. Don’t be intimidated by this model as it’s provided for illustrative purposes only.
Use the blank template provided below. Fill out each section one by one. You do not need to go in the order they are listed in the template. Feel free to skip around. A great way to get started is to begin with the section you find the easiest. You may leave out the sections you believe are not relevant to your ideal job.
Each section takes about 15 minutes to draft. Again, keep in mind – there are no right or wrong answers. Simply let your brainstorm flow without judgment.
This is your opportunity to:
- Focus on What You Enjoy
- Describe Your Ideal On-the-Job Roles
- Highlight the Responsibilities You Find the Most Rewarding
- Discuss the Type of Projects You Want to Work On
- Describe Your Role in Terms of the People You Work With
The goal here is to dream big! Have fun with this exercise. As I like to say: Throw some spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks!
If you would like assistance with this capstone exercise, click here to schedule a private coaching session with me. I will help you craft your ideal job description incorporating all the elements essential for you to feel authentic career satisfaction and fulfillment.
Job Description Example
Position Title: Chief Communications Officer
Company Division: Strategic Communications Division, XYZ, inc.
Reports to: Chief Executive Officer
Location: New York, New York
XYZ, inc. Media Relations, a strategic public relations firm headquartered in New York City, is looking for a top-notch media relations and communications strategist.
XYZ, inc. is comprised of highly qualified and committed communications experts. Clients include Fortune 500 corporations, national philanthropic organizations and Ivy League academic institutions.
The Chief Communications Officer is responsible for the strategic development, supervision and evaluation of multifaceted public relations campaigns for various client industries. Also responsible for business development and client relationship management. Manages a team of six and reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer.
The Chief Communications Officer position requires an organized, enthusiastic and flexible individual who is capable of thinking on her/his feet. The candidate should be creative and have the ability to plan strategically, while also managing the day-to-day functions of the communications division. The candidate should be capable of incorporating appropriate quality control and customer service principles into all aspects of her/his work.
The Chief Communications Officer will be responsible for the overall management and administration of the communications division. They will oversee the entire sales cycle from opportunity identification, proposal development, contract negotiation and service delivery and evaluation.
- At least five to ten years public relations agency experience
- Three to five years senior executive management experience in leading, motivating, developing, and directing staff to accomplish organizational objectives
- Proven track record of strategic communications development and implementation
- Solid national media placement track record
- Successful experience in budgetary administration and control
- Ability to prioritize and multi-task in a dynamic, creative, challenging and fast-paced environment
- Positive attitude in deadline-oriented environment
- Bachelor’s degree in Communications or related field
- Master’s degree in Communications or related field preferred
- Understanding of and ability to execute PR plans, strategy, and programs
- Proven ability to lead staff to accomplish project goals
- Superb writing, editing, and public speaking skills
- Business development skills including proposal writing and presentation
- Client relationship management abilities
- Proven ability to write compelling press releases
- Outstanding interpersonal communication skills
- Excellent organizational and time management skills
- Ability to work effectively in fast paced environment
- Computer, internet and information technology savvy
- Problem solving, effective communication, innovation, cooperation, teamwork, strategic planning and analytical skills
Duties and Responsibilities
Responsibilities include all facets of public relations account management and execution as well as personnel management. Detailed responsibilities include:
- Overall management of client accounts
- Manage client expectations and executive interface with client
- Provide strategic counsel to clients
- Develop and execute public relations plans
- Coordinate positioning message development
- Write and edit strategic communications documents
- Budgetary oversight of client accounts
- Identify, develop and participate in new business pitches
- Build teams and provide performance reviews for staff
- Manage and mentor staff
- Occasional travel required
Reporting and Team Structure
The Chief Communications Officer reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer. Formal performance reviews will be conducted on a quarterly basis. The Chief Communications Officer will be a part of the CEO Advisory Group comprised of the company’s other three officer-level executive team members.
Salary and Benefits
XYZ, inc. offers the opportunity to work with a dynamic team, and an excellent compensation and benefits package. We maintain a family-friendly work environment and respect and encourage work/life balance.
The generous benefit package includes:
- 401K plan participation and company matching
- Three weeks paid vacation time and holidays
- Health benefits including medical, dental, vision, life and long term disability insurance
Your Job Description Template
The < Employer Name > is a …
The < Job Title > position is responsible for …
Duties and Responsibilities
Overall responsibilities include …
Detailed responsibilities include:
Reporting and Team Structure
The person in this position reports directly to …
The team structure this position is a part of is follows …
Salary and Benefits
The salary and benefits for this position are as follows …
Congratulations! You now have your ideal job description!
You did complete the exercise right? If you feel stuck, click here to schedule a private coaching session and I will help you complete your ideal job description customized to your personal set career needs.
If you did complete the exercise, you now have a clear picture of your ultimate job. You know the top skills you want to focus on in your career – both hard and soft. You know the type of projects you want to be working on and the type of organization you want to be working at. You also know your target salary range and your preferred geographic location.
Now that you have a clear vision of your target position, you can put this vision into action and take the necessary steps to land this job and launch the next phase of your career!
If you feel you’d like assistance with crafting your ideal job description, I invite you to schedule a one-on-one coaching session with me.
Click here to schedule your personal coaching session.
Now, let’s move on to your Career Success Guide to Knowing What You Don’t Want On-the-Job.