What is it I do, exactly? I write instructions anyone can follow for how to use software or follow an in house procedure. I can make software do things it might not have been originally intended to do as well via macros or other programming scripts. And more specifically, what can I do to make or save money for a client? I save you time on training and wasted time not knowing exactly how to do something. What is it that’s special or unique about me? In other words, what combination of skills and experience do I have that would make you as an employer want to work with me?
Everyone has to read a job description to see if you meet the qualifications of the company but what if we, as job seekers were to publish our own job descriptions? Something that defines the job we’re looking for, the company culture, boss, tasks and location we’re after. It could be something that we can add to a resume or cover letter pointing out what our criteria is and how well the company matches us for a change. It could also be an “Other Document” that can highlight how well we’ve researched our target company finding tidbits and trivia that may just be public information but still require research that is attached to an application.
I built a reverse job description several months ago based on what I dislike most about my current job and what I wanted to avoid and wanted to be doing soon. Interestingly enough, I was able to define what I want in a boss, company and job tasks that would make me happy etc. Even better a potential job is in the process of opening up that just about meets everything including location and compensation requirements, the only thing I have to do is be patient.
Here’s part of my list and even if you build a list and never publish it, it can be a very useful tool for identifying if an opportunity and company meet your criteria!
- Forward thinking
- Profitable or high benefit to helping society or the environment with enough in funding to function well
- Has an active future plan that includes revenue growth
- Functions within budget
- Includes staff in plans while forming not after choices are made
- Actively seeks ideas and feedback from staff
- Seeks to build not just small teams for certain functions but to bring whole group of teams into one large team demonstrating that each team has a purpose in the big picture
- Explains the big picture and how everyone from the clerk and janitor contribute
- Fair but firm
- Timely decision making – “later” is not an option nor is crossing the bridge when we get there… PROACTIVE PLANNING
- Clear expectations and goal setting
- Proactive work projects
- Open door policy
- Gets to know individuals on team including moods, likes and dislikes
- Knows enough to do anyone’s job for a few days
- Short, medium and long term project based
- Variety of assignments
- Set goals for each project with clear expectations of deliverables and timelines
- Variety of new software to learn
- Opportunity to teach and learn
- Primarily computer based in software or programming or writing
- $35+/hr ($60k+/yr)
- Team getaways specifically to get to know other teams
- Continuing education or conferences
- If remote then flexible work hours based on timezones
- Mat-Su Valley of Alaska
What I want
- Computer based tracking systems that are up to date
- Research and learning are highly encouraged
- Support with projects when needed
- Any down time can be used for classes and learning
- Freedom to prioritize work within reason
- Variety of tasks that make a difference
- Ability to see where my work fits in
- Short productive meetings
- Tools to keep in touch such as chat and message boards in addition to email
- Cross training in other teams and other jobs with or without the background for the job
- Mobile tools for use when needed
- Helps others mutually supportive
- Power to do experiment and mess up within reason
- Computer that has the power to keep up with multitasking
What do you think?
At the start of my time with the State of Alaska I was a Administrative Clerk. As a clerk I was placed in charge of archiving old files to make space for current files. This was a monumental task that had not been tackled in several years so there were 20+ boxes to start with. Based on the Archive Guidelines I developed a simplified chart to help me sort the files.
Over the course of 9.5 years I and the teams of MASST (Mature Alaskans Seeking Skills Training) and DVR (Department of Vocational Rehabilitation) participants along with a non-perm Office Assistant archived over 3,500 files. I was involved in all the aspects of hiring, training and day to day leadership of these individuals.
One of the training tools I used to assist everyone who was helping with the massive project included the following guide.
In the process of doing this it became known that no matter how many closed files I archived and sent off site there would never be enough space for the ever expanding files that were open. It was then determined that we also needed to categorize the open files for archiving as well. There was no guidelines to do this at the time and so in talking to the head of the archives we determined that we needed to collaborate with my management to setup the mechanisms to archive open files.
There were many types of both open and closed providers as detailed below. The categories assisted in retrieving files for quality assurance and compliance investigations over the years. Our oldest files were so old that the early volumes dated back into the 1990’s when Senior Services was founded! It was fantastic to get so many old files offsite and out of our over full file cabinets. It also reduced injuries (I was injured by the drawers being too full) and reduced fire risks. Once older files were offsite archives was able to either store the files or add them to micro film or scan them for DVD backup media.
I love planning things and tracking things and so over time I’ve had fun creating my own systems for tracking and planning a variety of lists and projects. Some are purely fun like the “Miracles” note pad and others are incredibly useful like the daily and weekly planners or the project pages. Other things like the Turtle sheet tracked where a file was migrating to while maintaining HIPAA in the office.
©Sue Darby as these are my creations.