What is Your Job Archetype?

A few months ago, Today featured an article on lessons from a man’s job switch from construction to cakes. Non-obvious, given that construction and cake decoration do not appear as adjacent industries based on traditional classification matrices. However, this could be logical, if we learnt to think of our role in terms of broad archetypes, instead of specific job titles or positions.

Much has been said about the fast-evolving job market and how we are left unable to predict with any degree of accuracy, what future jobs might look like and the relevant skills we might need. In such a world, it might indeed make sense to anchor deep and maintain some flexibility on how our jobs look exactly, rather than develop shallow skills in niche areas just to chase trends.

Therefore, here at Bold, we always advocate starting your career design process by grounding in what brings significance to you, exploring who we are both in terms of our values and strengths. The world and the economic environment may change fast and evolve constantly, but if we can grow our roots deep into exploring why we do what we do, we may find that we are able to sway with the changes and invent new expressions of what we do.

For leaders looking to grow their influence and inspire others, Simon Sinek coined the concept The Golden Circle, in which he advocates the importance of Starting With Why, before moving on to the how and the what.

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We mapped these core ideas onto a career framework:

Articulate Values- WHY you do what you do
Identify Strengths- HOW you do what you do
Discern Job Archetypes- WHAT you do/contribute

Beyond values and strengths, we are now building on a new dimension called ‘Job Archetypes’. Many storytelling traditions have observed that there are some deep, timeless, and universal patterns when it comes to the human experience: where we encounter a challenge or a quest, which calls for us to rise up in a certain way, and in so doing, we become who we are. Just as there are archetypal plots (e.g. rags to riches, the underdog winning against all odds), there are archetypal characters (e.g. the Jester, the Lover) who respond to challenges in a characteristic manner. Each archetype usually bears its own unique gifts, and also come with their own respective shadow sides. An example is the set of 16 leadership archetypes drawn out by David Hutchens in Circle of the 9 Muses.


Embracing my identity as a seeker-creator-ruler, many things fell into place for me in a way that had not been quite as clear when I explored merely the dimensions of my ‘why’ and ‘how’. I began to understand why it was difficult for the seeker in me to be content with a comfortable life in the status quo, why the creator in me yearned to apply my energy and skills towards bringing things of value into existence, and why the ruler in me sought to make change through the path of enterprise rather than a career in the social services.

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These identity markers are not set in stone, but for now, they are comrades I am seeking to get to embrace and to know better.


Curious to find out what your job archetypes might be? You could be a Wizard wielding magic spells, a Companion dispensing comradely advice, or a Creator of bijou and beautiful things.

Join us at the next Bold career design session: https://boldatwork.sg/careerexperiences/dyl

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