Agile Job Descriptions

Most of us have applied for a job at some point in our career. In my youth, this was finding a listing in a newspaper or on a storefront and then going in to apply in person. At times I didn’t really care what the job description was, as I needed a job. Usually the title was enough to decide if I wanted to be a “waiter” or “cashier” or “laborer”. I am somewhat glad those days are behind me, at least for the most part. My wife usually expects her fence builder and cook to be regularly available.

In the technology fields, we often have very detailed job descriptions. In fact, I think most of the job descriptions I see have had too much input and ask for more skills than any individual is likely to have. In my experience, if I meet at least 50% of the required skills, I apply. I’d encourage you to do the same, as many of the requirements are flexible as hiring managers realize they can’t find someone that meets 100% of their desires.

Today, I’m wondering if any of you ever look back at the job description that you were hired to fill. Does your current work match what was written when you applied? Did you end up doing more or less of what was listed? Or has the job evolved as you’ve been in this position. Would you still be qualified for this position? Over-qualified? Or maybe you feel you’re still not quite qualified enough?

I’m kidding about the last one, though there are always people searching for a challenge and enjoying the struggle of learning and growing their skills. In fact, some of the most talented people I know have had lots of success and still struggle with impostor syndrome, which I think drives them to be better. Or maybe some just have the Jerry Rice training habits.

Take a few minutes today and think about your job and the description that was written for it. Has it evolved, or is it what you expected?

Steve Jones

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