Episode #144

Job Crafting Your Way To More Publications

Do you find yourself daydreaming about what your job COULD look like if you could just design it on your terms? Do you have a brilliant idea for what you really desire your working life to look like?


In today’s podcast episode, I discuss the ins and outs of career design, or job crafting as it is more commonly called in the academic world. I lay out what job crafting is, how it relates to the academic space, and how we help you craft your ideal job inside of our Navigate program through our 10 systems for getting your publications out the door.

If this conversation inspired you in any way, the waitlist is OPEN for our Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap® Program. Navigate is our 12-week writing and publishing program that is going to help you move that backlog of publications out the door! 

Our next cohort of Navigate enrolls soon. Catch all the program details and get on the waitlist so that you’re the first one to know when we open for applications! 

Career Design (Job Crafting):

The concept that I call ‘career design’ is called ‘job crafting’ or ‘job sculpting’ in the academic literature.

Job crafting is defined as what employees do to redesign their own jobs in ways that can foster job satisfaction, as well as engagement, resilience and thriving at work.

When I heard a podcast from Dr. Amy Wrzesniewski called ‘You 2.0: Dream Jobs’, I realized that what I had been calling ‘career design’ was a whole academic area of study called job crafting.

In that episode, she talks about how people often try to solve their problems at work by changing employers. And what ends up happening is that you just keep going and being unhappy at every employer that you go to. She suggests that there may be a better way to get more job satisfaction by proactively shaping your current job so that you’re doing more of what you want to do how you want to do it: aka ‘job crafting.’

Amy Wrzesniewski, Jane E. Dutton, and Justin M. Berg wrote a publication that came out of the Michigan Ross School of Business that shared 3 different forms of job crafting:

  1. Job crafters can alter the boundaries of their jobs by taking on more or fewer tasks, expanding or diminishing the scope of tasks, or changing how they perform tasks.
  2. Job crafters can change their relationship at work by altering the nature or extent of their interactions with other people.
  3. Job crafters can cognitively change their jobs by altering how they perceive tasks, or thinking about the tasks involved in their jobs as a collective whole as opposed to a set of separate tasks.

Some of my biggest takeaways from those 3 things are:

  • You might want to expand OR reduce your scope of work as a professor, but find what fits your values and mission best.
  • You need a community of like-minded, values-sharing professors to be in relationship with in order to be more happy and productive in your job.
  • You can alter your perception of the tasks that are on your plate by thinking of creative ways to align tasks that you can’t quit with your mission statement.

Job Crafting As Professors:

Rather than immediately looking for a new job when you are unsatisfied in your current role, job crafting should be the first step in your process. For most people, the job crafting solves the problem.

I’m not suggesting that job crafting or career design is as simple as just saying no to things. Saying ‘no’ is a step toward job crafting, but not the whole thing. Job crafting is much more proactive of a process.

Burnout in academia can be alleviated by job crafting. Episode 62: How to Plan a Sabbatical or Leave, discusses all about how to design your sabbatical. So many people plan to clear their pipeline, write their book, etc. on their sabbatical and it doesn’t happen. That’s because they have not done the process of job crafting to set themselves up well. All of this burnout can be alleviated by job crafting.

Additionally, if you want more publications, the solution is also job crafting. The effects of not designing your career is that you aren’t publishing. A lot of people who are sitting on a lot of data and research think that they have a writing and publication problem. That thought is the way that your job crafting problem manifests itself.

There are a few reasons for using writing and publishing as the entry point into career design or job crafting:

  1. It is top of mind for many professors
  2. Writing is an organizer for your career

10 Systems for Job Crafting Your Way to More Publications:

  1. The Mission Method: Write an academic mission statement using our template inside of Navigate
  2. Activities Alignment: Aligning your activities with your mission statement
  3. Freeing Time: Learn time management skills for being a professor (Episode 4: Create Your Ideal Week)
  4. Soaring vs. Slogging: We teach you our writing systems in order to increase your publications
  5. The Write Goals Method: All about goal setting for your writing
  6. Mindset Mastery: Mindset concerning your writing and publications
  7. Project Prediction Plan: Creating systems for how you work, reflecting on those systems, and learning how to manage your projects better
  8. The Power Pipeline: Aligning your publication pipeline with your mission statement
  9. Writing Roadmap: A Yearlong writing plan: Writing Planning Process
  10.  5 Year Framework: Dream out the future and then reverse engineer to figure out how to get there

When I heard Dr. Wrzesniewski’s podcast on the Hidden Brain Podcast, I knew it aligned so well with exactly what we do inside of Navigate.


Final Thoughts:

With job crafting, you have fewer incredible employees just completely stepping away from jobs. Instead, you have them designing a career they actually enjoy. They’re not searching for satisfaction by changing jobs, but they’re creating satisfaction inside the job that they have. This leads to higher retention in the academic space.


Next Steps:

Job crafting, especially the way we teach it inside of our Navigate program, will get your publications out the door. If that sparks any interest or curiosity in you, make sure to get on the waitlist NOW for when we open the doors. 

Key Quotes:

“[In Navigate] you’re creating systems, processes and boundaries, to help you live your career with integrity, and make decisions that center your academic mission and values.”

“You can job craft your way to more publications.”

“If you are proactively seeking a community of like-minded, values-sharing professors, that can increase your job satisfaction so much- when you have a community of like minded people, and you’re navigating that job together.”

“Job crafting is a process which involves careful reflection, self exploration, and skills around time management and boundary setting.”

“Focusing on writing and publication is focusing on you, who you are, who you want to be, and the impact you want to make in the world. So using writing and publishing as the entry point into career design just makes sense.”

“Job crafting can lead to better retention.”

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