Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A to Z: Job Descriptions

I had a few possible J ideas that might have worked. Then this morning while getting ready to head out "job description" popped up into my thoughts. Sure, maybe it doesn't look like it fits my theme at first glance, but there is a whole chapter on job descriptions in my industrial organizational psychology text book. (social psychology as applied to the workplace). Then when I came across the Occupational Outlook Handbook later today I figured this would be a fun topic to write about.

A job description, a document that defines someones responsibilities. Some workplaces have more specific ones while others have more general ones. There is much more that could be added in this section, but I'm keeping it short because the character part is catching my muse more.

Characters need some means of support, and it can be useful to think about what sorts of tasks they do on a regular basis for that pay check. What sort of job do they have? What do they like about their job? What don't they like about their job? How does their job influence their identity and self-esteem? How did they get their job?

When it comes to fantasy, historical fiction, and characters who don't have traditional "being employed by someone else" jobs there aren't going to be job descriptions. In these cases it can be interesting to still think about what sorts of tasks a character does to make sure they have food clothing and shelter.


K.C. Woolf said...

I write contemporary fantasy, so yes, my characters have jobs to pay the bills. :-)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It can be their trade or apprenticeship!

Giggle, Laugh, Cry said...

Hi! Just stopping by from the A to Z Challenge!

Julie said...

Your posts always give me a lot to think about regarding my characters, this is a great post for J.

Bluestocking Mum said...

Interesting post Claire and great to make your acquaintance. Thanks for your post and following me.

In my current WIP I have a mental health nurse and a Vet and a guy who had a really high powered job as a corporate lawyer who is made redundant and it leaves him devastated so your points about job descriptions are really valid and topical.

Look forward to following your posts and writing

warm wishes