Moving forward - What’s in a job description anyway?

Being a job seeker again has made me realise several things — one of which is that job descriptions for design roles are largely the same. You read 5, and you’ve probably read 90% of them. Call a designer by any other name, but they seem to be the same rose inside. 🌹

I also get asked by recruiters (and concerned friends) a lot about what I’m looking in my next role. The first couple of times the question came up, I struggled a little, because so much of what I want to do doesn’t fall neatly into a single role or description. As a designer, I started out in visual design then moved to UX, and at the same time, I also dabbled in quite a fair bit of research and management.

When I tendered my resignation, a kind mentor came to speak with me. I told her that I wanted to specialise, and she very nicely persuaded me not to. She had come from decades of experiences in various verticals and industries, and it was this amalgamation of experiences that trained and helped her in her executive career.

I remembered coming out of that conversation, moved and a little relieved that okay, maybe it’s all right to invest more time and effort in building lateral skills.

I had been hoping that somewhere, in a job description somewhere, that there will be the explicitly stated flexibility to jump in and out of roles and functions.

But that’s silly.

I don’t need something like that to be prescribed.

So, a note to myself, a JD is just a JD.