How to Avoid Hearing “That’s Not in My Job Description”

“That’s not in my job description.”

Many frustrated employees have muttered that phrase. Due to some pretty sloppy examples of job descriptions, the sentiment could ring true.

The phrase can pack a punch, too. Dive into what it means exactly and much of the time, you find an unwillingness to adapt. Sometimes a job well done doesn’t resemble the job for which you were hired though. That doesn’t mean the job can go undone!

Jobs change all the time

Hey, in startups and fast-growing companies, jobs morph all the time. It comes with the territory (and boy do we know it).

Jobs can change and companies can mature. Although many of us can empathize with not exactly sprinting towards new, different or unexpected tasks, no business can run efficiently with monkey wrenches everywhere.

But what can you actually do about it?

Attract talented people, describe the job, and then safeguard yourself against misunderstanding, stalemate and even lawsuit. This way when you hear, but that’s not in my job description, you can say, oh but it is…

Tasty examples of job descriptions

These guys do it better than almost anybody so we compiled a list of their seriously tasty job descriptions (oh, and their careers sites knock it out of the park, too).

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  • Here’s how SiteCompli advertises their need for a Software Engineer. Clean, concise, descriptive and attractive, it brings tears to our eyes!
  • Instagram needs a Product Designer. We get their personality, needs, expectations, and they even weave in a little butt covering by saying “A scrappy, entrepreneurial attitude.” Nice! Entrepreneurs have every responsibility.
  • Hootsuite happens to need an Administration Ambassador right now. It may seem simple enough, but here they go again doing it better than everyone! They say what they need, what they want, what will get you hired and a little bit about themselves.

Yes, life AND business do change

Oh, and then Hootsuite goes the extra mile to say, “other duties and responsibilities as assigned.” They don’t mean that you’ll be hired as an Administration Ambassador but then tasked with the duties of a graphic designer. They mean that life and business change! So may your tasks and the occasional daily duty.

Now, don’t confuse our message with taking advantage of people. We explicitly mean that the black and white job titles, descriptions and agreements won’t fill the gray spaces in the relationship between employers and employees.

Always compensate the employee for the time, effort and willingness to help. Never, ever, abuse that power.

Assuming that you don’t pull shady tricks or underhanded role changes though, you need to protect yourself from an employee stalemate. Make the right pre-hire preparations to avoid hearing that things aren’t in my job description any longer.

This article originally appeared on The Resumator Blog.