Start Thinking Outside Of Your Job Description, And Stop Limiting Yourself To Your Title

Saturday, August 15, 2020 New York, NY, USA

Never Put Yourself In A Box, The Most Successful People Can Do A Little Of Everything - Taylor Mead

It's been over four years since I graduated from college, and while sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago, it simultaneously feels like yesterday.

Even as time passes, though, I can vividly remember my feelings of uncertainty when anyone asked "What do you want to do after you graduate?" Because, for me, the answer wasn't so clear-cut and working closely with college students in my current job has shown me that this confusion wasn't just a "me" thing.

While I always knew I wanted to be a writer, I didn't have just one topic I enjoyed writing about. I loved lifestyle, health and wellness, home, food, relationships, and so on. How could I choose an outlet to write for if I didn't even know what topic most interested me?

I also knew I loved social media. I loved curating Instagram feeds, photography, graphic design, and more. How could I choose to write if I loved the social side of media?

Then I loved video. The idea of being in front of the camera intimidated me, but the production side excited me. How could I just choose writing or social media if I wanted to be a video producer?

It wasn't until I had several internships and jobs that the answer became clear to me. I was trying to put myself in a box because I felt that was what I was "supposed" to do in order to succeed. "Focus on one thing and excel at it," right? Wrong.

Don't confine yourself to one interest. The most successful and talented people have more than one passion.

In my experience (particularly speaking for creative roles), if you show up to an interview and prove you are a jack or jane of all trades, master of MOST, you will stand out from the other candidates who may only have one area of expertise.

I framed my various passions in a way that showed I would add value to the many teams I've worked on instead of coming from the angle of "I'm not sure what I want to do." The minute I started doing this, I realized I did know what I wanted to do because I didn't have to make a choice.

So from someone who has bounced around a bit trying to find the "perfect job," I want to assure you it's out there — you may just have to tailor it a bit to fit you. Those set "job descriptions" on applications don't paint the full picture. If you can also bring other talents to the table and you land that "writing" job, don't be afraid to pitch the other social and video ideas you have as well.

At the end of the day, job descriptions are meant to be molded to the person who holds them. So take the job you find interesting, but don't stay in its box. Use all of your talents and run with them.