Job crafting is about turning the job you have into the job you want. It is about shaping your job and not letting your job shape you. This is different from job re-design which is driven by the organisation. Job crafting is driven by you.

If you are feeling the tension between your day-to-day work demands and what you really want to be doing, you can become demotivated and feel “stuck”. If you are in this situation, instead of considering a change of roles or organisation or career, consider job crafting. Job crafting involves defining your job to incorporate your motives, strengths and passions.

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In job crafting, you can assess the following core aspects of your current work and consider making changes that can make a difference to re-energise and re-imagine your work life:

  • Perceptions – Can you change how you think about the purpose of certain aspects of your job or reframe the job as a whole? Eg., if you are a researcher, can you think of the aspects of your job that you may not enjoy (such as pursuit of grants) in the context of the meaning of your role to advance the science in your field?
  • Attitude – Can you see different aspects of your job as a set of building blocks that you can re-configure to create more engaging and fulfilling experiences at work? Eg., if you are leading a business unit and have responsibility for business and financial targets and you are people rather than task or details oriented, can you re-configure your role or how you fulfil your responsibilities in a way that plays to your strengths and interests?
  • Relationships – Can you change the nature of extent of your interactions with other people? Eg., if you are a specialist and you are passionate about people development, can you take on mentoring or coaching role with colleagues who may be new to your organisation or need to develop expertise in the area of your specialisation?
  • Tasks – Can you change the boundaries of your job, expand or diminish their scope or change how they are performed? Eg., if you are a lecturer and you like the challenge of organising people and logistics, can you initiate a project which meets your insitution’s goals which involves your organising people and logistics?

Job crafting can be a way individuals can re-energise and find new motivation. It is important to be open about the process, build trust with your supervisor and those whose support you need, and position it as a way to enhance working towards organisational goals. This will help your supervisor and organisation to support your job crafting. Companies that support job crafting can help individuals perform better at work and motivate and retain their talent.

“Our research with a range of organisations – from Fortune 500 companies to small nonprofits – indicates that employees (at all levels, in all kinds of occupations) who try job crafting often end up more engaged and satisfied with their work lives, achieve higher levels of performance in their organisations, and report greater personal resilience.” Wrzesniewski, A., Berg, J.M., & Dutton, J. (2010).

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