How to Ask for More Responsibility at Work

Are you bored at work? Do you long for a more significant challenge or a way to work yourself up the career chain into a more fulfilling position? We see this all the time in employees who have learned the ropes and are quietly longing for something more. They have a good job, but they are unfulfilled and disengaged. But how can you ask for more responsibility? You don’t want to rock the boat, possibly threatening your current job in the process. You also don’t want to threaten anyone else’s job by making a move that may have political overtones. 

There is a way for you to ask for more responsibility at work without running afoul of any of these issues. This article will help you ask for what you need without stepping on toes. 

First, Think Like Your Boss 

Making a move to accept more responsibility requires a shift in thinking toward leadership. Try viewing yourself from the perspective of your employer or the business owner. How can a move to take on more responsibility help the organization? What will you deliver?  What is the organizational mission, and how will more responsibility in your job meet those goals? 

Consider your manager as your client. You must “manage up” to carefully work with them as a partner and not an adversary. If your manager were a client, you would do this naturally, work to understand their needs, and then meet them with your best effort. If you’re considering a move up the chain of command or even just taking on more responsibility, you must be sure you’ve managed the relationship with your boss well. After all, you don’t want your push to take on more to feel threatening in any way.  

Consider what’s important to your manager. What priorities will your work help them fulfill? How can your work make them appear like a winner? Then identify the opportunities that will meet these needs.  

Second, Demonstrate Your Competence 

When you lack a challenge at work, it’s almost easier to sit back and coast through the job. Sometimes this coasting can fail to exhibit the ambition to do more simply because you’re a bit bored. Sometimes this can even make you look like you’re not up to a new challenge or that you are disengaged. Neither of these impressions is what you want to leave your employer with if you’re trying to take on new challenges. Asking for more responsibility requires your employer to trust that you won’t let them down. So, make sure you’ve exhibited top of the line skills in your current role before strategically making a move to something new. Before moving on to the third step in asking for more responsibility, make certain you’ve built out a rough business plan for yourself to show how you will free up time in your current schedule to take on more, and where you’d like to head in the long term. This kind of career roadmap will help your employer figure out your future plan. 

Step Three, Make the Ask 

Timing is everything, so before you sit your manager down to make the ask for more responsibility, consider every step in this process carefully. This includes consideration of your client’s (your boss) deadlines and workload. Make sure your timing for this push is perfect, so you don’t run the risk of being turned down simply because your boss is too busy to consider it. 

What if You are Turned Down? 

The best employers will carefully consider your efforts to improve their bottom line. If you feel like you’ve followed all of the steps we’ve outlined and your career is still stuck, maybe it’s time to give Blackstone Talent Group a call. We offer our confidential, expert advice to candidates like you every day. Explore your options and make the call

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