How Being “Crafty” Can Help You Get The Career You Want

September 15, 2015

Career Advice

358555164_0b1a1a9fb3_zComplaining, complaining, complaining! Is that the solution when you aren’t happy with your job? It shouldn’t be. But some people vent with fellow employees and use it as their outlet to deal with unhappiness at work. Unfortunately, this creates low morale and brings the team down. Complaining is like a yawn–it’s contagious.

If changing jobs isn’t an option, changing your perspective or the way you view a situation can alter the way you feel. David Sturt, an executive vice president for O.C. Tanner, wrote an article for Forbes in 2013 where he explains a term called job crafting.

“Job crafting means essentially this: That people often take existing job expectations—or job descriptions—and expand them to suit their desire to make a difference. In other words, job crafters are those who do what’s expected (because it’s required) and then find a way to add something new to their work—something that benefits their team, their company, or their customer.”

Jane Dutton and Amy Wrzesniewski, the creators of the job crafting exercise, say that employees can do this is in three different ways: changing tasks, changing who they work with, or changing the meaning assigned to the work.

For instance, let’s say you are a salesperson at a boutique, but you want to be involved in creating the displays on the shop floor and in the windows. You know you have these skills, you have all kinds of ideas, but you were hired to sell the products, not display them. In this case, it is your tasks you want to change. Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Become great at selling (which is your current job)
  2. Make sure your manager knows you can do your current job well
  3. Make suggestions about the displays when it is timely and you have your boss’ ear
  4. Offer to do just a section of the store to showcase your skills (in this way you are gaining trust)
  5. Offer to arrange the windows the next time they need to be changed (if the manager is tentative about this, share your ideas on paper first or in a meeting with her/him)
  6. When you have successfully created the opportunity for yourself, knock it out of the park!

All of these steps should be done without asking for additional pay. You need to gain the trust of your manager first and prove that this IS a task you can be successful at. Consider it a bit like an internship for the time being until it’s clear you are the only one for the job!

Image via Jessica Wilson/Flickr.

About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

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  1. The Difference Between Company Culture and Meaningful Work | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - October 20, 2015

    […] This is no longer the case. It has become clear that meaning in your work comes from the connections that are built between the people—you, your co-workers, your team, your boss, your manager, and so on. And you are more in charge of the meaning that’s attached to your job than you think. (Read our last post on job crafting.) […]

  2. 6 Ways to Shake Up Your Job Search | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - February 23, 2016

    […] Get Crafty While You Search: Do an experiment of sorts. See if you can apply these crafty principles   while you are searching for your new job. Does it work for you is it possible you can move up […]

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