The Upside

Escaping the Hamster Wheel: Tips for Redefining Your Role

When’s the last time you wrote your own job description? 

Upside member and scale coach Christina Langdon challenged me to do this back in 2021 when I confessed to her that I was juggling too many balls in the air and was struggling to get off the hamster wheel. 

After writing out a ridiculous amount of responsibilities under my current job description, she then challenged me to write the job description that I wanted to have. 

That second job description looked so much different than my first one, mostly because it had me working ON the business significantly more than working IN the business. 

That exercise was my first step towards scaling into the next chapter of The Upside…

…and I never looked back.

I often hear from consultants in The Upside that they feel like they’re juggling too much, but get overwhelmed when tasked with figuring out how or what to outsource (hint: it’s NOT business development) and to whom.

If you’re reading this, then I’m guessing that you may be feeling this way, too. 

Extrapolating from Christina’s exercise, I’d like to challenge you to write your current job description and include anything and everything you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, both professionally for your business and personally for your home, PLUS how much time you’re spending on each task.

Then take a look at that list and answer these questions:

  • What’s taking up most of your time?
  • Realistically, what can be done by someone other than you?
  • What can someone take off of your plate with a bit of training?
  • What on this list do you loathe and dread?
  • What can be outsourced so that you’re getting back significant time?

Maybe you’re spending 10 hours a week driving your kids to activities after school. 

What are those 10 hours worth to you? Could you hire a local grad student for $20/hour to take over that task and give yourself back 40 hours a month?

Maybe you’re spending 8 hours a week creating social media graphics. 

Could you hire a freelancer for $50/hour to do this work for you? Could you earn back the $400 a week if you had that 8 hours of additional time to play around with?

Maybe you’re spending 6 hours a week developing content for newsletters (like this one) or LinkedIn posts.

Could you implement frameworks (either your own or purchased) for systemizing this task so that it takes up significantly less time per week?

This is just one tiny example of the many challenges we tackle inside The Upside community.  The wait list is already growing for our Q1-23 opening, so if you haven’t explored membership with us yet, I’d say now is as good a time as any! 

Erin Halper

About the Author

Erin Halper is the founder and CEO of The Upside and the leading authority on independent consulting. Since launching The Upside in 2017, Erin has helped thousands of professionals transition from corporate life into consulting to achieve flexibility, autonomy, and a renewed sense of purpose in their careers.

Erin has been a frequent speaker at Columbia, NYU, Harvard, and Brown and has been featured as a leading future of work expert on dozens of podcasts as well as in Forbes, Business Insider, Nasdaq, Crunchbase and many more.

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