When it seems jobs are scarce, identifying an organization’s need and demonstrating how you can fill it seem like logical steps. If there are no jobs to be had, why not create your own? Considering that places are ALWAYS open to hiring someone who can add value, it’s certainly worth trying. The fact that this is not a common method people use to get hired will boost the odds of anyone who does go this route.
A friend of mine (an association employee) recently did this. He enjoyed his job in administrative support, except for the fact that he had a lot of downtime. When the assistant of another senior leader quit, my friend proposed a new position that would serve both managers.
This scenario could not have been more win-win. My friend knew the department and the responsibilities, so he had an easier transition into the role than someone newly hired (and saved everyone the time and money that went in to hiring a brand new employee). He also got a respectable pay bump as a result of the extra work, which was still significantly less than if a second assistant was hired.
Clearly, this situation had to do with someone who was already an employee (though it illustrates how proposals can be used to get promoted), but the same principles apply if you’re coming from the outside. Of course, the hardest parts are determining what the organization needs and getting your proposal in front of a decision maker.
As with many other parts of the job search, it comes down to research and making a connection. Once you’ve done this, consider writing up a formal proposal. Using the above example, here are the key elements:
1) Acknowledge the need: A second assistant that could hit the ground running.
2) Explain how you can fill the need: As an experienced assistant in the same division (with extra time to fill), he could start immediately and with a short learning curve.
3) Request a meeting: He was then able to provide additional examples of WHY this new position would benefit the organization and why he was the person for the job.
At the end of the day, proposing a new position is similar to the sales process. As creating new jobs is an area I’m passionate about, look for more posts on this topic!