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Science Leadership: Redesign Your Job, Part 1
Learn strategies and tools to keep 'new responsibility creep' from making your job unenjoyable.
“New responsibility creep” can drain the satisfaction science jobs provide. We describe strategies and tools to redesign your job to reflect your interests and goals.
Science Jobs As Houses With Additions?
The house may look good, but with those additions, what’s it like inside? Is getting from bedroom to kitchen a tortured journey through twisting hallways, up random stairs, around imposing walls? Does the house’s design enhance its occupants’ quality of life?
Science jobs resemble houses with additions. They begin with simple structures. Then, as houses respond to new needs with additions, science jobs respond to “new responsibility creep” with new tasks. Like the evolved house, the evolved job may look good on the outside but be problematic inside. Its new tasks may dilute the scientist’s core interests, diverge from the scientist’s purpose and goals.
The ebb and flow of projects in science organizations makes it feasible for most scientists to redesign their job to better meet their needs. The payoff for redesign can be significant, like the difference between microwaving a packaged dinner and making a recipe from scratch. Cooking the meal takes a bit more effort but yields a more personalized, satisfying dining experience.
Three Job Redesign Tasks
Three redesign tasks keep science jobs as satisfying as they have the potential to be:
Answering these Foundations questions provides the core for redesigning jobs:
Project Flow and Tools
The ebb and flow of projects naturally beginning, developing, and concluding in science organizations makes it easy to redesign jobs, continuously bringing new opportunities for scientists to alter formal and informal roles, engage in studies, and work with mentors:
This concludes Part 1 of this blog post, providing the building blocks for the foundations and tools for redesigning science jobs. Part 2 of the post draws on the foundations and tools to produce a one-page document useful both for clarifying the scientist’s thinking and negotiating changes in the job in the organization.
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