7 Tips to Help You Invent Your Next Job

technology, innovation

The changing nature of today’s workplace

There’s no denying it is a time of unprecedented change on the work front. Many of today’s jobs aren’t guaranteed to exist tomorrow as technology continues to enable new business models that disrupt age-old industries and change the status quo unequivocally.

Globalisation means competition for jobs is greater than at any other time in history. Mobility continues apace, untethering us from centralised office locations and freeing us to work from literally anywhere with an internet connection. Social tools and channels enable us to connect globally and in an instant to audiences covering every possible niche.

With unpredictability and connectivity the new norms, they are fuelling the next career opportunity for anyone ready to embrace them – inventing your next job

7 tips on how to create your own job

While it sounds unrealistic, this idea isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem. After all, all jobs are invented. The capacity to innovate - solving problems creatively or bringing new possibilities to life – combined with the right mix of supply and demand has generated every single job that ever existed. So why not your next one?

invent your next job, smartphone

Fear, uncertainty and doubt will do a great job of stopping your imagination and action in its tracks if you let it, so here are a few pointers on manifesting the job of your dreams:

1. Get clear on your values

Values are our own personal reference guide for the way we need to live and work in order to be happy. By defining and aligning with our personal values, they can act as a reference point for our career decisions – big and small. When we make choices and behave in a way that matches our values, life is usually good – we feel a sense of purpose, satisfaction and contentment.  But when our choices don't align with our values, things feel out of kilter, unfulfilling and often downright unhappy.

This ebook provides exercises to help you understand and articulate your values to get you started.

2. Pinpoint your strengths

Strengths are the talents we all possess and use. Often we don't consciously recognise them because we tend not to value what we are good at. We are taught to spend our time trying to plug the gap on our weaknesses. By identifying our innate talents and ensuring a career or job role that enables us to use those strengths every single day, we are much more likely to feel engaged and motivated and ultimately – successful.

To identify your top five strengths, check out the Strengths Finder 2.0 book and related online test. It might throw up a few surprises.

3. Indulge your passions

Passions cover anything you have a compelling enthusiasm for. They are a really important part of the career-defining mix because they create an unparalleled motivation, drive and focus. It stands to reason that if you love what you do, your commitment to it will be greater, which ups the success stakes considerably. The sad truth is that many of us believe our passions are only appropriate for our spare time and that work should be something separate. But those who indulge their passions and find ways to integrate them in a work context report much higher levels of engagement and happiness.

businessman, innovation

4. Dare to dream

Get a piece of paper and play the game ‘If I knew I couldn’t fail, I would…’, ‘If I didn’t care what other people thought I would…’, ‘If I were sure I’d succeed I would…’ and see what you get. Aim to write down your answers as they come to your mind – however outlandish or bold they might seem – without judging or analysing them. When you finish, read them through and sit with them for a moment. The answers will undoubtedly be food for thought and might astonish you too.

5. Adopt an experimental mind

Test out different ideas by playing, fumbling, experimenting, and observing, taking the time to see what you learn and building it into your next idea to test. Belief is built from the evidence of ‘doing’ so deliberately aim to fail a thousand times, acknowledging and applying what you learn to keep honing your idea until you get to the right one for you.

6. Break it down

As you come up with ideas for your new job, don’t try and do everything all at once. Take baby steps, breaking down your goal into the smallest possible pieces and choose the easiest one to start with. The trick is to avoid the perilous cycle of over-commitment, misery, overwhelm and defeat.

7. Embrace the transition phase

It’s very rare that we’ll be able to switch one job off and switch another on in a way that seamlessly covers all our existing financial needs and commitments – particularly with a job or career we’ve invented. Life simply doesn’t work that way. So be prepared to embrace the transition phase. This might well mean doing two jobs at once as you continue to work in an existing or alternative role. You’ll know when the time is right to make the whole-hearted leap because you’ll reach a tipping point in momentum and you’ll feel it in your gut.    

It’s about trial & error

Try out these tips and see what happens. My clients can attest that with a lot of research, imagination, hard work and a willingness to make mistakes and learn from them, it is entirely possible to invent a job that has never existed before – one that serves your soul and possibly the world at large, as well as your customers.

Are you tired of your current job? Do you plan to create your own? Let me know in the comments!

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Alison O'Leary (14 reviews ) Business Coach, Career Coach, Life Coach

I specialise in helping bright, spirited people find a way to a career that is meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling. My coach work covers career change, second careers and specific challenges like people management and ... Read more