workers Time to don that hard hat.

Last week, we talked about filling business gaps as a way to break into your dream content job. But I didn’t raise one key question:

What if your content job doesn’t exist yet?

It’s all well and good to find ways to move laterally across the company by filling business needs. But what if there is no content department or writing job in your company or agency?

What if you literally need to create your job from scratch?

Luckily, it’s probably easier than you think.

It all starts with what we talked about last week: identifying and filling a business gap.

When I first started at my ad agency job, the only content work happening at the agency was some minimal writing and concepting done by our Creative Director—and her job was on the rocks, because there just wasn’t much writing work being sold.

But the writing projects she was already tackling weren’t the only thing that needed a wordsmith’s touch. There were SEO projects that the SEM Manager was trying to handle on her own. There were technical manuals that needed re-writing. There was the growing awareness about social media’s possible role in business. There was our own website, which desperately needed some TLC. And then there were the content strategy opportunities that kept sneaking their way into projects.

In other words, for someone just starting out and wanting to work with content in a variety of ways, there was this yet-undefined job, this plethora of scattered needs, just waiting to be gathered up into a neat little bundle that could keep someone pretty busy.

I started gathering up content tasks and asking to be taken off tasks that were not content related and could be done by someone else. I re-wrote those technical manuals. I did content upload and editing for our marketing emails and client web content. I started working closely with our Search Marketing Manager, re-writing SEO content to her specifications.

When, sadly, our Creative Director was let go in a layoff only three months into my time at the agency, I started wedging myself into more and more of the content gaps left behind. I took on copywriting projects, working closely with the new Creative Director (formerly our Art Director) and the account executives to make sure business goals were being met and clients were happy. I started performing content audits, running the company blog, sneaking content strategy into projects and then making a case for it to my bosses.

With every small success (hoorah, the tech manuals look great! Yippee, someone is writing the SEO content the clients like it!), I asked for more opportunities and wedged myself further into the job I wanted.

Three years into my time at the ad agency, I had created two jobs (both of which I was juggling in exceedingly long hours): a hybrid content strategy and writing job that allowed me to create social media strategies, write headlines, perform content audits, etc., and a technical support job that allowed me to be intimately involved with our in-house content management system (from helping define specs for new features to testing new features to supporting clients as they worked within the system).

At the end of those three years, not only had I created a job that allowed me to learn and thrive in the world of content, but I’d also created an incredible store of confidence. If I could do all this within someone else’s business, what could I do if I gave myself the freedom of self-employment? What could I do as a consultant?

This is, of course, when I started my own company, which is the ultimate way to create your own job.

So, this is your food for thought for the day: just because your company doesn’t have a full-time content position today, doesn’t mean you can’t create one tomorrow. The key here is to tackle things one at a time: work your way slowly into the position you want. Prove your value over and over again along the way. Meet company goals. Create efficiencies. Make money. And I’m betting you’ll find yourself doing more of what you love and building respect and confidence along the way.

Have you ever created your own job or snuck your way into a job? Tell us about it in the comments.