The Right Way to Ask for More Responsibility at Work


If you’re employed and looking to get ahead in your career, one of the best things you can do is take on challenging assignments and high-profile projects.

Taking on that kind of extra work, however, requires a bit of finesse. Randomly walking up to your boss and asking for high-profile work isn’t going to give you the best odds for success. Also, just asking for a bit more work in general could get you anything from the lead role on a major project to mopping floors at the end of each shift.

Getting more of “the right kind of responsibility” at work is a bit of an art, but it can be done. The following tips can put you on the path to getting those coveted responsibilities.

Make Sure You’re Crushing It

Obviously, looking for more responsibility isn’t going to happen if you’re not handling the work that you’re already supposed to be handling. If you’re not hitting deadlines or work is pretty low quality, your supervisor probably isn’t going to ask you to do even more.

Before asking for more responsibility, honestly assess your own performance. Ask yourself: Have you been doing more than just the bare minimum? That’s an important question to ask before determining if you should go ahead with a conversation on more responsibility.

Come with An Idea in Mind

Whenever you approach your boss, you should be coming with a potential solution, not just a request. Just asking for greater responsibility is like putting one more thing on your supervisor’s plate. You want something and you’re asking your boss to figure out how to make it happen.

Rather than asking your boss to do all the heavy lifting, a better approach is to come with potential solutions; one or more opportunities for more responsibility that you may have noticed. In this situation, it’s good to be conscious of what your organization wants from you. If certain teams that are bogged down with work or there are bottlenecks you could address, perhaps those are areas where you could step in and offer real value.

In essence, you should know precisely what you’re looking for before asking. If you skip this essential step, your odds of taking on the responsibility you want are much lower.

Keep It Upbeat

If you feel like your skills aren’t being utilized, it can be an annoying situation and ask for more work is totally justifiable. However, coming to your boss and venting about the situation isn’t the best approach. Instead, try to maintain a positive tone, even if the conversation doesn’t go the way you expect it to go. Keep the conversation upbeat and focused on how you can provide value, as opposed to your frustration with the situation.

NSC Can Help You Grow Your Career

At NSC, we specialize in helping ambitious people grow and develop as professionals. If you’re finding that growth opportunities are limited at your company, please contact us today to find out how we can connect you to career growth opportunities.




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