It happens to the best of us: the career rut. Perhaps you’re three or four years into a job and you feel you’ve gotten all you can out of it. It’s not that you want to leave the organization, but you feel you can provide more value and there aren’t any open positions. What do you do?
Discussing your desire to take on more responsibility isn’t necessarily the easiest conversation to have with your manager. Here are some tips on how to correctly approach the subject:
1. Evaluate what you can do
You may want more responsibility, but what does that actually mean to you? Trying out a new skill or managing people? Figure out why you want more career responsibility and what you want to accomplish to create a plan of attack.
2. Explore what you’d like in return
Does moving up mean more money or a title change? Exploring what you’d like in return assists in identifying what benefits you expect in addition to the responsibility, whether those benefits are monetary, professional, or a bit of both.
3. Create a mock-up
Prepare for the discussion with your boss by creating a mock-up, or plan of attack, for where you want to go.
You can create a portfolio that showcases your accomplishments and what you’d like to achieve with your new responsibilities. This helps your boss visualize the opportunity and the benefits you can provide to the organization if you make the transition.
4. Have the conversation
Conversations with your boss can be awkward, no matter how close you are with them. Some may not understand why you deserve it, while other will be supportive. Whatever situation you’re faced with, remember to be as professional as possible and keep the conversation focused. A simple way to do this is to have the talk in an area where your boss is comfortable, like their office or at lunch.
5. Prepare your Plan B
In a perfect world, your boss would love every idea you have and throw piles of cash at you for your new endeavor. However, your manager may disagree with your idea, in which case have a counter-offer ready.
You may not be able to advance yet, but you may be able to work on an extra project. Though this may not be ideal, it can give you and your boss extra options that will still allow you to have more responsibility.
Convincing your boss to give you more responsibility may seem tough, but when you do it correctly, your career—and your happiness—will certainly benefit.
What do you think? What are some other ways to gain more career responsibility? Share your ideas with us in the comments!
Ask Levo Mentor Kim Keating, Founding and Managing Director of Keating Advisors, her advice for feeling confident in asking for more responsibility and more compensation.