Before Taking the Next Step at Work

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You’ve reached that point in your job where every day seems like the last. You have found a comfortable routine and it starts to feel like you’re just getting through the day. You’ve decided that you want to take on more responsibility and start thinking about possibilities for advancing your career. Below are a few things to think about before you approach your boss about taking on more.

  1. Are you meeting the basic goals of your job? First, you’ll want to have a conversation with your boss and make sure you understand what basic goals you should be reaching each day. Are there basic production and quality goals you are expected to reach? Are there project due dates that you are expected to meet? If you already have regular meetings with your manager, how do those meetings generally go? If your manager is telling you that you’re doing okay, but there is still some room for improvement that could be a flag for you of what you need to focus on before you try to add any additional work to your plate. This is a great time to be honest with yourself. If there are items you need to work on, make a plan to improve and implement it as soon as possible.
  2. Are you arriving on time and bringing your best every day? It may seem like a simple thing, but being present, both physically and mentally, has a huge impact on the way your boss perceives you. If you are not physically present it is a red flag for your boss that you really don’t care, and maybe there is something else you would rather be doing. If you are there, but obviously not paying attention to what your boss is asking you to do, your boss sees this, and knows that the work they need you to do is not foremost on your mind. If you aren’t physically or mentally present, it is time to review the reasons why this is the case. Do you really want to be there and putting effort into your job? Or would you rather be doing something else?
  3. Are you bringing up improvement ideas or complaining unproductively? No manager wants to spend extra time with an individual that is constantly complaining about the job or the team. If you want more time and assistance from your manager with your career it is time to look at your job from a different angle. Think about what you normally complain about and think about how things could be changed to make things better. Now, at the same time, remember that just because you bring an idea to your manager it does not mean that your idea will be immediately implemented. Your boss may have questions, need clarification, or they may not be able to implement your idea for reasons they can’t even discuss with you at that time. Remember to be patient when you bring ideas to your boss. They have a lot on their plate.
  4. Do you understand the goals of your department/team? Part of getting new ideas implemented is knowing what the true goals of your department or team are. Are your ideas in line with your team’s goals? Or are they putting you on a separate path that management may not want to go down? Using this as a reality check before bringing ideas to your boss will help strength your boss’s idea that you are there to be productive and help the team.

These are just a couple of things you may want to do before letting your boss know you want to take on more. Sometimes just bringing useful ideas to your boss may lead to more responsibility for you as they will not be able to do all the work themselves. In addition to the ideas above you will want to think about the relationship you have with your boss and how you might be able to strengthen this relationship, so they will be more likely to want to

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