How To Create Your Ideal Position

When I coach, I notice client topics tend to come in waves. Some days it feels as if I share the same frameworks and best practices over and over. Lately, it has all been about how to create and request a new role within your existing company.

I’ve done this very thing before. Here’s what worked for me:

  1. Identify an organizational need and be the “solve” to the problem: Create your ideal job description and relate the position to advancing the goals of the organization. Articulate how you’ll do this in a new and creative way (otherwise, why doesn’t this role already exist)?
  2. Identify how you’d like to do the job: What’s your ideal outcome – working with greater purpose, having more flexibility, for more money, or fewer total hours? Identify what it is you’re after and outline it.
  3. Get your numbers together: If you want to work four days a week instead of five and earn more money, you’ll need to demonstrate how your new role will save money, save time, and advance the goals of the organization. Demonstrate specific data points for the most compelling argument. As an example, say I wanted to become a Program Management Czar. I would aim to demonstrate the current length of time it takes for disparate departments to coordinate decision making on projects and how my new role will save the company X amount of time and, therefore, Y dollars. 
  4. Assert a win-win solution: If you’re asking for a new role, is it an addition to headcount that wasn’t budgeted for, or increased duties within your present position in which you’d like to earn more money? Frame your ask in a way that outlines why your additional request for more is really in benefit to the larger noble purpose of the organization. And go big! Think about the organization’s vision, mission, and strategic goals. Any time you can demonstrate you’ll advance these, you have a winning solution. 
  5. Know where to draw the line: Be willing to negotiate. Ask for the stars, and why not, the worst they can say is “no.” That said, know where you’ll have a hard time saying “yes” if their counter-proposal isn’t worth it. Imagine if the new role is created and you receive a raise, but it’s not reporting into the chain of command you prefer, and you weren’t able to work from home per your request. How will that sit?

Once you have the above put together, ideally in some formal memo or presentation, run it by a trusted colleague, and ask for feedback. Be open to considering modifications based on what they say. 

For the above to work, it certainly helps if you are a respected contributor and leader who has already demonstrated results. That said, employees have far greater control over their employment relationships than they realize. That’s because organizations value the continuous delivery of results. If they have to decide between creating a new role or seeing a valued employee walk out the door knowing the brainpower and lost operations goes with it, they likely come to some version of yes! So go for it, and if you need help getting clear on what your ideal job would be, download my job clarity guide here.