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Entrepreneur Diaries: employee and entrepreneur job descriptions

Founder of Lime & Tonic

August 25, 2013 1:46 by

We are all responsible for delivering the results that we have ownership and accountability over. As an employee, it should be an easy task to look at your job description and say: “yes, this is what I have to do because that is what I’m being paid for”.

By Tariq Sanad, founder of social concierge service Lime & Tonic

In some cases, having any hint of a job description is a good start, because many companies – be it multinational corporations or startups – struggle to ensure that there is a proper one in place and, obviously, you don’t want to be forced to do something that you aren’t paid for.

Frankly, it all depends on how ‘switched on’ you are. Do you really need to have it written down by the HR department, or should you know what you have to do and what you’re capable of doing? The job description is an excuse to avoid doing things that you don’t like. For an excellent employee, not having a job description shouldn’t matter. You’re aware that you have business results to deliver and what you are able to do to achieve them – so just do it (no excuses).

As an entrepreneur, this is where it is very easy to just get down to work because, essentially, your ownership and accountability is to yourself and no one else. Well, sometimes it is also to investors and those you’re indebted to, but most of the time it’s just you.

It will mean that as well as doing the tasks you like, there will be a whole set of tasks that – given the choice – you would not normally have done. Great entrepreneurs learn to constantly push themselves further by doing things they dislike or tasks they have found to be demeaning compared to their previous corporate standing.

However, if you remain adaptable and push yourself out of your comfort zone, you will learn, develop and improve faster than any job experience will teach you.

In a recent PR campaign with my company, we developed the concept of ‘secret suppers’. At these dinners, comprising 16 people, I’ve also taken up the job of serving my guests as a waiter and welcoming them as host. Have I ever done that before? No. In fact, one of the guests was the person who took over my previous job and he looked at me with a puzzled face, worried at what I was reduced to. I could tell he was slightly uncomfortable, but I just said: “I am living my dream and enjoying everything I am doing, are you?”

I am proud of all the things I have learnt since I started my own business, as I have become the marketing director, the general manager, the public relations director, the accounting assistant and (apparently) the waiter, all at once.

Nothing like entrepreneurship gives you as many titles – rendering all job titles meaningless. I have learnt to work in sales, create a marketing plan that works and how to set a table for 30 in the quickest time. Hosting parties is so easy now.

But, seriously, the best part of being an entrepreneur is the belief that you can do anything you set your mind to, with no restrictions. And when you have to embark on something you haven’t done before, you will have the confidence to do it.

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