‘Create Your Own Job’ 101: A Last Hope for Desperate, Unemployed White Collar Professionals
No panacea, here, after soul-searching and wrapping your mind around a new, harsher economic reality, you may be ripe for embracing one of life’s less-appetizing last-ditch efforts. While the allure of nailing down any job may tempt you to read further, know that life overall, and personal-commitment, get very real, very fast, when you’re gazing across the desk of the president or operations/general manager of a small company. He or she will search your eyes and body language for insincere tells of self-deception or outright fibbing on your part. Because he or she must gamble on whether you’re after a temporary life jacket to keep afloat until something better presents itself; or whether you’re earnest in pursuing the job you hope to co-create with his/her input.

For that truly-desperate-willing-to-change-my-occupation white-collar worker who’s surrendered all hope of resurrection within his/her chosen profession: this brief article offer a radically different tack. The position in mind is that of ‘Operations Support Staff-person;’ it represents a need fantasized ubiquitously by managers across small companies of every ilk, and found in many big-city industrial and office parks. Whether or not the fantasy can be a reality is contingent on their operating budget, sales growth projections, and of course your ability to sell yourself as the right person to fill an unadvertised position—one you’re trying to create before the prospective employer’s very own eyes.

This create-you-own-101 tack is far more physically aggressive than the usual passive-Internet based job search routines. This approach has you hand carrying a special resume (a cover page example follows), as you drive to each industrial/office park and apply the bygone-days technique of selling yourself door-to-door. Many companies post ‘No Soliciting’ signs, so it’s a quick in and out, with you stating to a secretary or office manager, “Just dropping off a resume,” but when the timing’s right, adding, “this is about a position that managers sometimes open up even though it wasn’t planned originally. If your operations manager can spare 5 minutes, I’d like to introduce myself, hand over the resume, and get my point across in 50 words or less, and be on my way. Would you please see if that’s possible?” If the answer’s a resounding no, then hand over the resume and leave. [You need to be thick skinned, since from the firm’s perspective, all empathy aside, you’re just one more annoying nuisance. Some folks can be cruelly candid about how you ignored that posted sign.] As a general rule of courtesy, do this: if they appear busy, or at first sign of their annoyance, hand the resume over, stating you’re simply dropping it off, and leave; from their perspective, they don’t want (and shouldn’t have) their work focus unnecessarily interrupted. But if your timing’s right, if they’re outwardly curious and friendly toward you, then the suggestion of the 5-minute introduction to the head honcho is apt to be well-received.

The upshot of all that earnest legwork and putting yourself on display is that you may get to make a few of those personal introductions, and make a positive (hopefully lasting) impression (dressing casually). You may even get an introduction that extends into a full-scale initial job interview. Remember, this begins as a likely fantasy that your prospective employer now needs to visualize more concretely—i.e., costs and risks vs. potential benefits. Hopefully, enough skills and duties listed on your Ops Support resume ping in the good-fit column.

Equally important is succinctly and commandingly putting across a message to those secretaries and office managers who successfully gate-keep: that what you’re proposing is not in the same category as the president’s/operations manager’s standing order of “I don’t want to see any resumes; we’re not hiring” (or only show me resumes for jobs open). That it is in the president’s/ops manager’s interest to give the three-page (maximum) resume a quick look-over.

On the sample cover page of the Operations Support resume provided, note that the introduction more or less defines the tone and intent of someone who’s clearly jump-starting a new career. The general skills you see listed, you’ll naturally want to edit/replace, etc., to more accurately depict those need-slots you believe you can competently fill—as long as a goodly number are listed.

A caveat here: if you either cannot perform physically-demanding work, as required—or you’re not that desperate—then the office-park equivalent of the sample resume provided might be an ops support position targeting software development companies: performing software testing, user manual writing/updating, shipping product, working the help desk, and so on. At any rate I’m not encouraging a horde of would-be job applicants descend on every city’s industrial park(s); this back-door solution should be very carefully weighed from a serious commitment standpoint. So, that’s it; I’ve covered all the ethical, psychological, and logistical bases: this old-fashioned shoe-leather approach to co-creating with a prospective employer a job that probably doesn’t exist on company paper. Needless to say, your commitment to a new and likely lesser career than the one you’ve been irrevocably forced out of must be as compelling as is your desperation to vacate the ranks of the unemployed.

Jane/John Doe
(000) 000-0000
Street Address
City, ST 00000


My former profession was that of _____________________, which I believe is no longer a viable course for stable employment, much less sustained career growth. Having made the mental shift and lifestyle adjustments, I’m pursuing permanent employment in the area of operations support—where actual job titles naturally vary, or may even be nonexistent—but where an organization’s real need none-theless dominates the business at hand. General skills I take away from my former profession include analytic, conceptual, communication (written/verbal), business process, and ____________ skills.

This lateral move, toward filling an administrative/operations support role, is my best possible answer to not only matching skills with a prospective employer’s needs, but also to exploring new-career options from inside an organization, based on my next employer’s growth opportunities (as opposed to relying on external job market projections for a profession that no longer serves me, nor me it).

Analytical Skills
  • Strong analytical skills for projects requiring analysis and evaluation.
  • Research (Web, etc.) subjects at management’s request or for a project.
  • Information gathering and project preparation for special projects as requested by executive management.

Create Documents
  • Draft reports based on various source documents as required.
  • Edit completed papers/reports for finalization.
  • Create PowerPoint® custom- and template-formatted presentations.
  • Create SOP, new-hire assessments, etc., manuals for HR Function
  • Create job aids and training manuals.
  • Create forms, surveys, and other data capture instruments.
  • Create/update product/service literature.
  • Generate various report data on Excel® spreadsheets.

Customer Interface
  • Collaborate with customers in various activities as assigned.
  • Educate prospects/customers on product use or service options/features.
  • Refer customers to various company/industry resources (follow-through).
  • Represent management in dealings with vendors/third parties.

Operations Support
  • Assist with operations tasks under a tight deadline.
  • Perform special tasks assigned by operations management.
  • Fill a lead-person role on a regular or as-needed basis.
  • Fill in for vacationing and other personnel absences.
  • Assist management in production/service process improvement projects.

Web Site Updates
  • As trained, periodically update Home Page Web site content.

Software Skills
  • Competent with ________, __________, _________, ________.

Requested Salary Range:

Interview & Work Samples: As requested, work samples will be hand-carried to an interview date and time of your choosing. [Use a maximum of 2 pages to include work history & educational background behind cover page]