How to Ask for More Responsibility at Work


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There comes a time in every professional's career when they need to ask for more responsibility at work. Despite the commonplace nature of the request, there are myriad right and wrong ways to go about it. 

Taking on more responsibility means taking on new challenges and broadening your skillset. It also means your manager has to trust you that much more. 

How to Ask for More Responsibility at Work

If you've built that foundation of trust and are ready for the next step, read on to find out the right and wrong ways to ask for more responsibility at work. 

Establish Your Value

Before you can even think about taking on more responsibility, it's essential to establish yourself as a reliable employee capable of delivering results. This means doing your job well and on time, taking the initiative when you can and being an asset to your team.

Once you've built a reputation as an efficient and dependable employee, only then can you ask for more responsibility without seeming arrogant or entitled.

Pinpoint Opportunities for Growth

It's also important that you make clear what skills you already possess and which ones need to be developed. That way, your supervisor will better understand what kind of tasks you're capable of taking on.

Stay on the lookout for opportunities to take up more responsibility. If you notice something that needs to be done, don’t be afraid to suggest solutions or offer your help.

Don't forget to tell your supervisor every time you complete a large task or project and ask for feedback. This will show them you are reliable and capable of changing your approach.

Prior to scheduling a meeting with your boss or supervisor, you need to have already demonstrated that you are reliable. Under no circumstances should you ask your manager for more responsibility if you do not successfully complete the tasks you are given on a regular basis. 

Research & Prepare

Once you have a good understanding of the company's needs and your skillset, research to find out what responsibilities you can take on. Do some brainstorming and develop a list of tasks or projects that you think would benefit the company. Then, pinpoint which of your skills would allow you to complete these tasks better than someone else. 

Planning the right time and place to bring up the discussion is also important. Make sure to choose a time when your boss isn't busy or stressed and will be able to have an open conversation about your request.

Lead the Conversation

Once you've identified the responsibilities you'd like to take on, it's time to talk to your supervisor.

Ask for a private meeting and explain why you want to take on more responsibility. Show them your list of tasks or projects and explain how you would benefit the company by taking them on.

One of the best way to do this is to show them measurable results. For example, instead of telling your boss you increased profit in the last quarter, show them exactly how much the profit increased and how this is a direct result of your actions.

If your manager is hesitant, ask to start out with a couple of tasks and then build up from there. This will show that you are taking the initiative and are willing to take on more responsibility at their pace. 

Be Flexible & Open-Minded

When asking for more responsibility, be prepared to adjust your plans to fit your manager's needs. Understand that your supervisor may want you to focus on specific tasks or projects that you may not have considered. 

If help is needed in a specific area, ask questions and ensure you understand what is required of you. Also, be willing to take on tasks that may not necessarily be in your job description or ones that you don't think are important. Taking on these types of responsibilities shows that you are dedicated to helping the company succeed and capable of putting aside your own wants. 

Be Gracious

Finally, don't forget to show your appreciation for the new responsibilities you've been given. Thank your supervisor or manager, and express your enthusiasm and eagerness to take on these tasks. This will reassure them that they made the right decision and make it easier for them to entrust you with additional responsibility in the future.

If your company doesn't find you to be quite ready for a promotion or an increase in responsibility, don't be discouraged. If anything, they will still take more notice of you and your efforts. You may also be offered more responsibility at another time, after you build your skill set or different tasks are required. 

The Takeaway

Taking up more responsibility at work is a great way to increase your value and take your career to the next level. However, it can also seem daunting and overwhelming, if done the wrong way, it could waste both you and your manager's time. 

Do your research, make sure you have a good understanding of the company's needs and your own skillset and always remain flexible and open-minded to new tasks and projects. With a little bit of patience and persistence, you'll be able to take your career to the next level. 

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