CAREER DEVELOPMENT / FEB. 24, 2015
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How to Get More Responsibility at Work

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Did you ever wish your supervisor would allow you to do your thing? Of course you do. It’s something we all want. You’re never going to convince your superiors to let you take on more responsibility by sitting around and waiting for them to notice you, though. It’s your job to approach your work in a proactive manner. In this article, we’re going to show you some of the ways you can gradually take on more responsibility in the workplace.

Ask Your Boss For Responsibility

This is the easiest way to get started. Make an appointment with your boss and ask them whether you can take on more duties. If they seem apprehensive, ask them why they believe you can’t handle it and what you need to do to prove yourself. Remember, it’s your job to show them you’re the right person for the job. Too many people try to guess their boss’s motives, rather than just asking.

If you can’t organise a formal meeting, try to mention it in passing. This is especially true if you work in a larger company where time is short and everything is less personal.

Look for Stressed Out Colleagues

Start as small as you can. Begin by looking for some of your more stressed out colleagues. Offer to help take away some of their strain away. This is taking on responsibility because now you’re also responsible for that person. This is the easiest way to show to a potential boss that you can take on more responsibility.

On a side note, it will endear you to your colleagues. If you ever reach the position of team leader or manager, you’ll already have the support and respect of your colleagues. This will make the bedding in process far easier.

Volunteer

Most companies have times where additional projects come in. Everyone will find themselves burning the midnight oil and increasing their productivity by 100%. This tends to happen during busy sales periods, such as the holiday season. When this happens, make sure you’re the first person to put your hand up and volunteer. Take the reins of the process and try to take on as much as you can.

Whilst we’re telling you to take on as much as you can, this doesn’t mean you should bite off more than you can chew. Failure will only make it less likely your boss will give you more responsibility. Volunteer, but only if you think you can follow up on your promises.

It Takes Time

Managers and supervisors aren’t mean or cruel when they turn you down. Look at it from their point of view. If they give responsibility to the wrong person, it’s them who’s going to suffer the consequences from above. They have to make careful decisions when doling out additional responsibilities to the people working under them.

This isn’t a process that’s going to happen overnight. Be persistent and keep getting on with your job quietly and efficiently. It may well take a year or two for it to happen, but sooner or later you will gain the responsibilities you crave.

Before you embark on this adventure, ensure that you’ve assessed your own skills. There’s little point in trying to gain more responsibility before you’re truly ready for it. Work isn’t about a mad dash to the top of the tree. You have to make sure you can maintain your position or you’re going to find yourself being knocked down again.

Regularly speak to your boss and allow them to tell you what they think. If you think they’re wrong, prove it to them, but do take their advice on-board. They know you better than you think.

 

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