It’s the classic “put me in coach, I’m ready” moment. You’ve toiled for a long time in small roles and with fringe responsibilities. Now you want a chance to assert yourself. You want to move closer to the center of the action and start making a reputation for yourself with the higher-ups.
But there are obstacles. A pecking order exists in the office and attempting to jump the line would stir resentment. You want to expand your role, but doing so creates a dicey political situation.
How do you press for broader responsibilities without upsetting the office hierarchy?
It requires tact and a delicate touch, but deftly maneuvering yourself into more responsibility doesn’t require House of Cards-level machinations. Here are a few simple rules you can follow to push your boundaries without drawing hard stares and mumbled curses from your co-workers:
Do Your Job Well
Want to entice your boss to give you more responsibility? Do your current job well.
The first step to expanding your role at work is excelling at your current tasks. Even if most of your recent assignments seem suspiciously similar to busywork, you can’t give in to the temptation to check out mentally. You still need to put in your best effort while you lobby for a juicier role.
Before you start pestering your boss for extra assignments, invest additional time and energy into your pending workload. Once you build a reputation as a trustworthy, efficient performer, new responsibilities are likely to come to you naturally.
Think about the way a lawmaker builds support for a bill. You need to work your colleagues. Look for potential alliances. Trade support for their pet concerns. Build a consensus.
Don’t just appeal to your boss when you are trying to expand your role. Consider the impact on your co-workers as well. Keep them on your side. By working with the people who will likely be impacted by your expanded role, you can make them see you as a useful partner, rather than a rival.
Add, Don’t Replace
Don’t overtly target someone else’s job. If you’re trying to replace someone else, that person becomes a natural enemy. It’s in their interest to stop you.
Defuse that situation by looking for ways to build new responsibilities rather than supersede a hierarchy that’s already in place. Find ways to augment existing projects and look for ways to expand an infrastructure that’s already in place. Instead of stoking competition, you’ll accumulate patrons.
Find Chances to Learn
Look to the future. Business priorities change quickly, and having the correct skill set for the current moment probably won’t mean much a few years down the road.
To get more responsibilities in the future, anticipate what the company will need and add those skills now. Once the industry realizes it needs the abilities you’ve acquired, you’ll be one of the few people with them already mastered.
Building a successful career involves constantly expanding your skill set and increasing your achievement level. If you’re constantly stifled in your current job, it may be time for a change.
Working with a top staffing firm can ease the transition to better opportunity.
Qualified Staffing can help you move to the perfect situation to maximize your long-term prospects. Contact us today to find out more.