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How to Ask for More Responsibility at Work

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How to Ask for More Responsibility at Work

Work is going just fine.

But is it, really? Are you feeling too comfortable; are your tasks too routine? Maybe you’re ready for something new, or you’re eager to grow in your career.

If that’s the case, it could be time to have “the talk” with your boss – the one where you ask for more responsibility. But before that happens, consider how you want the conversation to play out.

How Can You Get More Responsibilities at Work?

Why Ask for More Responsibility?

While you’re probably busy enough at work, there are several good reasons to ask for more challenging assignments.

First, it’s a good way to acquire new skills. After all, the best way to learn a task is to do it.

In addition, requesting – and managing – tougher assignments can help you prove your value to your boss. That will be a point in your favor when your review comes around and could help you leverage a raise.

“Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to take on more responsibility is a great way to grow personally and professionally,” says Alex Cavoulacos, president and founder of The Muse. “It can be uncomfortable and hard at times, but that’s what will help you make real progress within an organization.”

Before You Ask

Before you approach your boss, however, take time to work out the details of your request. For instance, what tasks are you interested in pursuing? How will they fit into your current role? How will this help you support the goals of your team?

Ultimately, you’re looking for quality work, not busy work, so you can develop the right skills to reach the next rung on your career ladder.

You may already know which skills are required. If not, do some research on the kind of knowledge and abilities you’ll need to succeed in the job you eventually want to fill.

Consider where you can you provide value for your supervisor, team and organization. For instance, look for co-workers who need help and offer your assistance. You could volunteer to organize a company-related extracurricular activity or join a committee.

In addition, check your notes from past meetings, suggests The Washington Post. What tasks does your department keep meaning to finish, that somehow never get done?

Find a gap that interests you, then figure out how you can fill it.

Develop a Plan

Once you identify a task or skill you want to pursue, develop a plan to convince your boss that you have what it takes to get the job done. Explain in detail how you will blend your current tasks and your new responsibilities.

“Think of the process as a business pitch in which you make the case for why the company should invest in your development,” says career coach Heather MacArthur for Rewire. “Put together a proposal first for the work you think needs to get done.”

Time it Right

Once you’re ready, decide how you’ll approach your supervisor. You won’t do yourself any favors by ambushing her when she’s in the middle of a big project or dashing through the halls between meetings. Instead, ask if you can schedule some time to chat, or share your thoughts during a performance review.

Prepare to Compromise

Hopefully, your initiative and forethought pays off and your boss says “yes.” But don’t be too discouraged if they offer a counterproposal. And don’t threaten to look for a new job if the answer is disappointing, says LinkedIn.

In fact, even before your talk, you should proactively look for other development opportunities, they advise. “Look for … online courses, books, and training modules – that you can take advantage of to ready yourself for when those new responsibilities come your way. And don’t forget to let your boss know about those newly acquired skills when the time is right.”

Taking on more responsibility can be both exciting and scary. But by focusing on your career goals and developing a plan for your career growth, you’re already demonstrating that you’re ready for bigger and better things.

Ready to Start Working More?

If you need to move on to achieve your career goals, talk to the placement experts at Pro Resources.