The Fallacy in Writing Your Own Job Description

There seems to be a disturbing trend in today’s workforce. Too many supervisors are asking their employees to write their own job description.

This is stupid, and speaks volumes about the management (basically, that it sucks).

A job description should be written to fill a need of the business. It’s purpose is not to communicate what an employee can do, wants to do, should do or hopes to do, but rather what the employee filling that position must do to fill the need designated by the business.

Therefore, if a manager asks you to make up your own job description, they’re basically telling you they don’t know what the business needs, and they don’t know what you’re doing there.

Unfortunately, too many managers are asking their employees to fill in the blanks and make up their job description. Often after they’ve been working in a certain position for quite some time (who knows what they’ve been doing up to this point). The manager may see it as an opportunity for feedback, or empowerment, or input, but it’s really just a result of either laziness or cluelessness, both of which are deadly.

If you’re a manager, know what you want. Write the job description, then find someone to fill it. Never ask someone to fill in the blanks when it comes to what you, and the business, expect them to be doing.

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6 responses to “The Fallacy in Writing Your Own Job Description

  1. John Harris’ job description: Be awesome!

  2. John – so what grounds can you be fired from your position on?

  3. How many people incorporate mandatory smoke breaks into their own job description? Or is that something that their bosses mandate?

  4. I would say 25% at my office. Probably closer to 40% in Kentucky where you are.

    I think every boss is looking for someone who smokes away a quarter of the day.

  5. What if you are your own boss?

  6. Then do whatever you want.

    Actually, I’ve heard it suggested that you fill a job description for every possible position, and then you just take on several of them. Most bosses, especially in small business, take on lots of positions.

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