How to Convince Your Company to Create a New Job For You
Even with many companies downsizing and outsourcing, several will be open-minded to adding a position here and there if they need it. It's up to you to let them know that they need it!
Laying the Groundwork
When I quit my job as a midlevel manager at an institution of higher education, I gave a long notice. Two months to be specific. I guess I wanted to give me enough time to plan other employment and them enough time to figure out if they could keep me in some capacity other than in my curent role. I was adamant in letting my company know that I didn't necessarily want to quit them, I just didn't want to continue in my current capacity. I had outgrown the financial services field, but still loved aspects of the job that I knew I could get elsewhere in the company. I just had to get creative and figure how to tell them where that would be.
An Idea is Born
Have you ever been a part of a business that just wasn't working? Everyone knows that results aren't up to par, but for lack of energy or fear of speaking up, no one says a word. I am in a unique place. A month and a half left on the job, my position already having been restructured out of the current model we had, I am still working, trying to keep a good impression. It's amazing when you give notice to your company how your coworkers will open up to you about their real feelings. They will say things like, "If they would just add someone as a coordinator between departments, this ship would sail smoothly." or "You know what this company needs? Someone to facilitate communication between staff and management." Suddenly everyone is an innovator and knows exactly how to fix the problems. This gives you an idea: Why don't I figure out what I want to do and create my own position in this company?
They Don't Know They Need You...Yet!
It's up to you to tell them.
Numbers are down. Managers instinctually point to the quality of leads coming in the door and NOT the process in which the leads are handled. If they admit there is a problem with the process, then that means more work for them in trying to come up with a solution to fix it. This means long hours of meetings and late nights working from home. You, as an innovator, can identify the root of the decrease in numbers and create a position in the company to fix it.
It's Not You, It's Me
Odds are that if you were paying attention throughout your employment at the company, then you already know why the numbers are down. You probably had big ideas just like everyone else of how to turn things around and get back in the black. You're already leaving the company, so why not let them know exactly what they need to fix it?
They need someone who is familiar with the company's mission, processes, and information system. They need someone who knows how to deal with the different personalities in the different departments. They need someone who they don't have to spend weeks on training. They need YOU!
It's easy to submit a resume. It's mindless, in fact, and we all know resumes are like your profile picture on a dating website: not a true representation of who you really are.
Instead, it's about the reasons behind your proposal. Write your thoughts down like a stream of conscious writing exercise. Mull it over. Take a walk and think about it. Once the lightbulb goes on in your head, get to a computer fast and begin writing your proposal for your new job. Start off by explaining the current climate of the company. Start with a line like, "Numbers are down. We can't afford to lose anymore clients. Here is what we need to do." It's a call to action and most managers will like that you are not just stating the obvious, but that you are actually going to do something about it. In a world where most employees are only out for themselves, being a team player who is considering what is best for the company will go a long way when your boss is reading your proposal.
If You Create It, It Will Come
Once your propsal is written, you can't stop there. You should also write up a job description for this new role. Just because someone is a manager, doesn't mean they are a conjurer of images. They need to see it in black and white and be able to understand what it is you will actually be doing everyday. You can't just write a proposal to "save the company from ruin". How amazing is it that you can actually write your dream job description?! Do not take this task lightly. As a manager myself, I know that creating positions, even though they will benefit the company, is not a pleasant project. By creating your own goals and list of duties, you are removing one more objection from the company as to why they don't want to make this happen.
Pick the Right People
If your boss is not the right person to pitch your new idea to, find someone else that is. Every company has one or two (or more if you're lucky) that have open-minded, creative individuals who love to change things up yearly. Usually everyone else in the company hates them, because most people loathe change. Seek them out and start the conversation. If they seem excited or interested, email them the proposal and the job description. If your idea is truly good, your propsal will get into the right hands.
What's the Worst That Could Happen?
They say no. That's not such a bad thing, anyway. You stay in your current role (if you haven't given your notice to the company already). For me, I'm already leaving, so there is little to no risk.
Go ahead and give it a try. You may just end up getting your dream job!