Why Not Create Your Own Job?

You're not happy with your job.  You don't like what you do.  Worse, nothing out there in the job market that appeals to you.  The final kicker is that of all the jobs you've heard of none may appeal to you.  You've got all this energy and skills but nothing out there is what you want to do.

So let me suggest, my fellow progeek, that maybe it's time to invent an entirely new job.

There's nothing written in stone that says the current jobs out there, that all the jobs that ever were, are the ones you have to do.  Besides, you're a pretty creative person I'm betting, so you could probably dream up an entirely new job for yourself.

Sounds crazy?  We can't just invent new jobs?  There were no airline pilots a century ago, there were no computer programmers seventy years ago, no social media consultants a decade ago.  People have been inventing jobs since, well, there were people.

Once there were no professional hunters until some guy got really clever and inventive, and next thing you know it was barbecue time (and thus the invention of the cook).

So, people have been inventing new jobs throughout history.  Maybe it's your turn.

So what is this new job going to involve?  Answer these questions.

  1. What skills would you like to use?
  2. What would you like to use these skills to accomplish?
  3. Who do you want to accomplish this for (in short, who will pay you).
  4. How can you present #1-#3 as a coherent "package" and give it a name?

Answer all those questions – and you've just invented a new job.  Congrats.  You're now in the same vein as the guy who thought the telegraph was awesome and maybe he could operate it full time.

(For that matter maybe you've been doing a "new job" all along in your hobbies.)

Maybe you can pitch this new job inside the company you're working at now.  Maybe it's time to start your own business and career and do this new job.  Maybe you can pitch yourself as a consultant doing what no one else has done.

You're just doing what humans have done for thousands of years – only this time it's you doing it.

– Steven Savage