Showing You’re Ready to Move Out of the Joe Job

September 19, 2016

Showing You’re Ready to Move Out of the Joe Job

In the last post, we discussed being in a joe job—that is, being underemployed where you are not able to use the full range of your skills and abilities. However, one of the best ways out is to have a reference from this job which sets you up for the one you really want. The descriptors you want your supervisor to use in a reference are:

Has initiative

This table below demonstrates how each of these could play out in a work context.

Demonstrating your promotability

Trait NOT: You’re going for: Example
Enthusiastic Gosh, everything is great. The people are so great. The products are outstanding. No wonder they sell so well. Adding value in your comment I think this product would be useful to younger people, too. They wouldn’t need it to lighten the load but might appreciate its convenience.
Has initiative I know we’re not supposed to do it that way, but it’s stupid. My way is much better. Suggesting changes before implementing I notice we get backed up when there are a lot of customers. I could pack the purchases for everyone to speed things up.
Bright Of course, my degree is in marketing so I could tell immediately that it wouldn’t work. Helpful not show-off You know, last year I came across a process which might work for us. Can I shoot you a copy of the article?
Hard-working I’m so hard-working and valuable. Filling as much of the day as possible with productive work I need Legal to get back to me; is there anything I can do for you while I wait?
Responsible I can do it as well as Dan. I just proved it. Ensuring your own job is done well I couldn’t let the shipment go out without the final pallet. It didn’t take that long to get it done.


Remembering that supervisors are likely to recommend (or promote) based on how you do the job as well as the skills you bring to it, you need to demonstrate that you’ve got the soft skills which make you a promotable employee.

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