There are Only 4 Jobs in the World

4 trees

According to employment expert, Lou Adler, there are only four jobs in the world:  producer, improver, builder and thinker.  Each organization contains a particular mix of these roles depending on the maturity of the organization and type of work to be done.

Most of us have been in one of these roles at some point in our career and tend to move from one to the other as our expertise and level of responsibility grows.  In most cases, we inhabit a role which contains aspects from all four:

Producers: these people execute a repeatable process. This can range from simple things like working on an inbound help desk, to more complex, like auditing the performance of a big system, writing code, or selling a custom piece of gear. Producers typically require training or advanced skills to be in a position to execute the process.

Improvers: these people upgrade, change or make a repeatable process better. Managers are generally required to continually monitor and improve a process under their responsibility. Building, training and developing the team to implement a process is part of an Improver’s role.

Builders: these people take an idea from scratch and convert it into something tangible. This could be creating a new business, designing a complex new product, or developing a new process. Entrepreneurs, inventors, turn-around executives, those in R&D, and project managers are typical jobs that emphasize the Builder component.

Thinkers: these people are the visionaries, strategists, intellects, and creators of the world, and every new idea starts with them. Their work covers products, new business ideas, and totally new ways of looking at anything.

So, which role are you in right now?

Read the complete article for more insight on how to recognize when a specific job type is needed and what questions to ask to determine if this is the job you should pursue.


When not reading, working or attending conferences and networking events, I am supporting my favorite charities: Teen Living Programs where I am a mentor, committee member and Executive Board member and YWCA Chicago where I am an Associate Board Member. I am passionate about causes related to supporting youth, women and families. Particularly in the areas of education, employment, violence intervention, social services and housing. With a keen intuition on helping people tap into their brilliance,  I am passionate about helping people grow. I can be reached at if you would like to know more about my charities or this blog.


Categories: Career, Professional Development

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