Job Crafting

Written by Karen E. Mosier

What is something that most employees have in common? They look for a healthy workplace where they can thrive and be happy and feel that their work has an impact on their organization. Workplace environment has a big impact on employee wellness and engagement. It is absolutely essential that employees enjoy their time at work and find a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Most people assume that if they do not like their job their only option is to leave and find another job. Thankfully, there is another option to consider called job crafting. Job crafting is the practice of making the most of the job that you have. Job crafting is a powerful tool that allows you to increase the control over your own professional life.

Here are three areas where you can focus as you start the process of job crafting:

  • Tasks:
  • You can improve the way things are done, using skills you already have, or using your knowledge to change working methods so that you can generate better results. It is about creating opportunities to play to your strengths e.g., you excel at coordinating projects so you may want to explore projects that allow you to work more collaboratively, you love public speaking so you may want to be involved in giving presentations or training sessions
  • Relationships:
  • You could focus on having better quality relationships and more satisfying interactions with the people around you e.g., you can take an active role in your institution’s mentorship program, you can start a social committee and plan social activities for your office, you can take a new employee under your wing and show him/her around the office
  • Purpose:
  • You can redefine your existing work to reflect what you see as being the real impact of what you do at work e.g., an undergraduate education coordinator has a part to play in providing the best education and training to future physicians

You will need to assess the potential impact of these possible changes on your wider work environment taking into account your clients, your colleagues, your supervisor or manager, and the organization as a whole. Remember that effective job crafting usually depends on finding a win-win solution. For example, you may have significant experience in research administration. You could volunteer to train new-hires on the research management system, or provide updates on system changes to your colleagues. What you get out of this could be simple enjoyment because you enjoy teaching people things or a boost to your own self-esteem or more interaction with people from other departments. What your organization gets from this is a better-trained, more effective workforce.


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