How to Be a Job Crafter

How to Be a Job Crafter


While employees may hold the same job title and perform similar tasks, each individual brings their unique qualities and perspectives to their role. This phenomenon is known as job crafting, where employees redesign their job to align more closely with their interests and goals. Job crafting offers several benefits, including personal development and a sense of meaning in one’s work. Research has also shown a positive relationship between job crafting and work engagement (Demerouti, 2014). In this paper, we will explore how individuals can personalize their jobs and how managers can support their teams in this process.


Job crafting involves employees customizing their roles to better suit their preferences and objectives. It is a form of individual-level job redesign (Tims & Bakker, 2010) where employees make small adjustments to their assigned tasks to create more meaningful work experiences. According to Berg, Dutton, and Wrzesniewski (2008; 2013), there are three ways employees can engage in job crafting:

  1. Task Focus Changes

Employees can modify the tasks they work on, the duration they spend on specific tasks, and the way they approach their tasks. Examples of task focus changes include:

  • Adding Tasks: Employees take on additional projects that align with their interests. For instance, an HR professional passionate about compensation and benefits may request ownership of those tasks.
  • Emphasizing Tasks: Employees prioritize and invest more effort in tasks that they find most meaningful. For example, a fast-food employee may request to work at the cash register because they enjoy interacting with customers.
  • Redesigning Tasks: Employees make alterations to existing tasks. For instance, when an employee is being shadowed, their responsibilities can include both teaching the task and completing it.
  1. Relationship Focus Changes

Employees can make adjustments in terms of whom they interact with and the nature of their relationships. Examples of relationship focus changes include:

  • Building relationships: Employees foster connections to find a sense of purpose. For example, developers may engage with designers to understand the significance of their work.
  • Reframing relationships: Employees seek to learn more about their colleagues on a personal level, going beyond their professional identities. For instance, exploring coworkers’ hobbies can deepen relationships and expand ideas.
  • Adapting relationships: Employees leverage existing relationships to offer assistance and learn from others. For example, providing feedback on a coworker’s writing piece allows for mutual growth and knowledge acquisition.

Cognitive Focus Change

How you perceive your role and the impact it has can greatly influence your job satisfaction. Job crafting also involves making changes in your cognitive focus. Here are specific examples of cognitive focus changes:

  1. Expanding perceptions: Employees consider how their role and specific job tasks contribute to the bigger picture. For instance, a farmer understands that cleaning horse stalls is essential for maintaining the animals’ overall health.
  2. Focusing perceptions: Employees reflect on the aspects of their job that they enjoy and find meaningful, even if there are less enjoyable parts. For example, as an architect, you may derive more satisfaction from designing than overseeing the team’s construction work. However, you remind yourself that the team brings your design to life, and once the building is finished, you can design again.
  3. Linking perceptions: Employees identify and highlight any aspects of their job that align with their identity and values. For instance, if you’re passionate about the environment, working at a company that focuses on environmental causes as a receptionist allows you to contribute to those endeavors and learn about ongoing projects.


(Based on Berg et al., 2008)

There are several motivations for engaging in job crafting:

  1. Finding meaning in work: By focusing on aspects of work that align with their passions and values, employees can derive a sense of meaning and purpose from their entire job.
  2. Personal development: Job crafting provides opportunities for growth beyond one’s specific job role. Learning about coworkers’ roles and hobbies can contribute to professional and personal development.
  3. Building human connections: Job crafting can involve fostering deeper connections with colleagues and focusing on customer relations, leading to stronger interpersonal relationships in the workplace.
  4. Dealing with difficulties or stress: Job crafting strategies, such as emphasizing favorite parts of the role, can help employees manage and cope with the more challenging aspects of their job. Focusing on goals and maintaining a sense of control can also enhance resilience and act as a buffer against stress.
  5. Sense of control: Being able to make changes in how tasks are performed provides employees with a sense of control over their work, fostering autonomy and job satisfaction.


Managers play a crucial role in creating an environment that encourages job crafting among employees. While they may not have direct control over whether employees engage in job crafting, there are several actions managers can take to foster a culture that supports and motivates employees to personalize their jobs. Here are some strategies:

  1. Provide autonomy: Managers can give employees a sense of autonomy over their roles, allowing them to have more control and flexibility in how they approach their tasks. This autonomy enables employees to make decisions and adjustments that align with their interests and strengths.
  2. Foster role development: Managers can create opportunities for employees to shape their roles and suggest ways to further develop their responsibilities. This could involve allowing employees to take on new projects, giving them ownership over specific tasks, or providing resources and support for skill development.
  3. Encourage cross-departmental connections: Managers can facilitate relationship building and collaboration across different departments or teams. By encouraging employees to connect with colleagues from various areas of the organization, managers can foster a sense of shared purpose and provide opportunities for learning and knowledge exchange.
  4. Promote awareness of job crafting: Managers can educate employees about the concept of job crafting, its benefits, and different techniques that can be applied. By raising awareness and providing resources or training on job crafting, managers can empower employees to take ownership of their roles and make intentional changes.


Job crafting is a valuable practice that can benefit employees in various job roles and positions. It helps individuals manage stress, find meaning in their work, foster personal development, and build connections with others. Managers have a significant role to play in creating a supportive environment where job crafting is encouraged. By providing autonomy, facilitating role development, promoting cross-departmental connections, and raising awareness of job crafting, managers can contribute to improved performance and increased job satisfaction among employees.


  • Berg, J. M., Dutton, J. E., & Wrzesniewski, A. (2013). Job crafting and meaningful work. In B. J. Dik, Z. S. Byrne, & M. F. Steger (Eds.), Purpose and meaning in the workplace (pp. 81-104). American Psychological Association.
  • Demerouti, E. (2014). Design your own job through job crafting. European Psychologist, 19(4), 237-247.
  • Wrzesniewski, A., & Dutton, J. E. (2001). Crafting a job: Revisioning employees as active crafters of their work. Academy of Management Review, 26(2), 179-201.
  • Tims, M., & Bakker, A. B. (2010). Job crafting: Towards a new model of individual job redesign. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 36(2), 1-9.

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