Ready for more responsibility at work?

Do you want to show your boss that you’re ready for more responsibility at work? Here are some ways to indicate you’re ready for more:

Follow through

When you tell your boss that you will do something, do it! Your supervisor will notice when the email you agreed to send doesn’t land in her inbox, and that missing message will send a big one to her – either you forgot, don’t care or both. It may seem like a small issue, one easily dismissed, but your boss may see it as evidence of how you’d treat the company’s biggest client or work on an important project, were you to be given those roles.

Avoiding “it’s not my job” thinking
If your manager is doing a laundry list of tasks that were never listed on her job description, she likely expects you to stretch your role as well. Even if you’re just lamenting about extra duties to co-workers, rather than directly to your boss, she could very well hear the complaint through the grapevine. Also, deflecting and comparing the work you have to do with someone else on the team can look pretty bad too.

Surpass the minimum workload expectations
Your boss will notice if you’re just doing whatever you have to do to keep your head above water or if you’re asking for more work and are proactive in doing something beyond expectations. If, for example, you’re sending progress updates, is there a new data point the updates could include? Could they be formatted more effectively? Show your boss you care about your job by exceeding expectations or offering to help overworked team members.

Offer solutions when you bring up problems
While you shouldn’t stay silent if you’re unhappy with an aspect of your job, speaking up without sounding like a complainer can be tricky. Take issues to your boss along with a few ideas to fix the situation and you’ll be considered part of the solution, rather than a person who simply complains about problems.

Work when you’re at work
If you’re tweeting and texting and browsing and shopping while at work, people will notice. And leave your phone at your desk or in your bag when meeting with your boss, colleagues or clients. Responding to a text when you’re meeting with someone can make them feel less important than what you would really rather be doing. If you do have to look at your phone while talking with someone, let them know why. It’s important for others to know that you’re taking note of an email from an important client, not checking whether your spouse wants you to bring anything from the store. Even then, make sure the focus is on the other person, not your phone.

Get to work a little early, stay a little late
Come in a little early to put your lunch in the fridge, grab some coffee and get settled in. Show that you’re willing to stay late now and then to get important projects done. Showing up and leaving exactly on time may seem like you’re not that engaged and only show up when absolutely required.

Stay visible
Not picking up the phone to make a client call, not speaking up in meetings or not responding to an email right away may all make perfect sense to you, you know why you’re not doing it right then, but it might not be clear to others. Make sure people who are expecting you to do something or expecting something from you know when they’ll receive it, don’t assume they’ll know.

Engage with your colleagues
Say hello to your team when you arrive to work and goodbye when you leave. Greet people with a smile when you pass in the hallway. Small talk isn’t as small as you may think. You give your time when you stop and ask about someone’s weekend plans, and time is a communicator of respect. You don’t have to chat it up or treat every day at the office like a networking event, but extending common courtesies goes a long way. The reverse is true, too. Your co-workers and manager are likely to notice if you skip these niceties every day, so even if you’re shy or busy, make time to establish eye contact, smile and say hi.

November 24th, 2014

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