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Do You Have a Personal Job AD?

A graphic of the word 'Job' clipped on a branch.

When looking for a job, we often spend time sifting through job postings, trying to find descriptions that resonate with us and prompt us to pursue new opportunities. But what if you wrote an ad about yourself and used that to build your career? What information would you include and what kind of opportunities would you hope to attract?

Roman Krznaric, author of How to Find Fulfilling Work, argues that instead of filling out questionnaires and taking tests to discover a great career, you should create a personal job ad—similar to a job ad, instead it lists your interests, skills, values, and requirements—share with 10 people in various professions, and ask them to describe jobs they think you might be interested in. The point is to expand our definition of what an ideal career could look like:

"You will probably end up with an eclectic list of careers, many of which you would never have thought of yourself. And that is exactly the point — to help stretch your imagination. But the purpose is also to enable you to see your many possible selves. We assume that there is only one ideal job out there for us — our "vocation" — but the reality is that there are probably several careers that could offer fulfillment by bringing out different sides of who you are."

Personally, I am so used to the emphasis on specialization in my career, that moving towards a more generalist/multiple passion approach seems like a big jump. However, it can also be exciting to acknowledge your multiple interests while exploring real job opportunities that match them. And with people I know making recommendations, I can easily chat with them about why they made those suggestions and how I might pursue them.

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by Allison Jones

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