When you start a new job, like many others the initial days are busy. Once you settle down on the role and create your routine, the days seem longer and tasks shorter.
Countless employees like you face this scenario when they start a new job. This often leads to boredom and you may feel stuck. That is the right time to broach the topic for additional tasks to be assigned to you by your boss.
However, telling your boss that you have more downtime and feel underutilized may plant doubts in his/her mind. Your boss may think that they hired you for no reason, which may lead to a layoff. That is the last thing any new employee wants, to lose the job soon after settling in.
Nevertheless, there is a way to raise the topic with your boss in a delicate manner.
Politely asking for tasks is best done by showing a desire to learn more, having the skillset to achieve the new tasks, good timing, positive language, and by showing how both sides will benefit.
You do not want to overburden yourself either while asking for tasks but want enough work that you stay busy at work. This can also start quick progress toward promotion. Read on to find out how you can discuss the topic with your boss to get the most out of your career.
Show a Desire to Learn More
If you tell your boss that you are eager to learn more about the business, there will be no question about your value to the company. On the contrary, your boss will take you seriously and consider you an important asset to the business.
You can start by pointing out different aspects of the operation and focusing on a variety of tasks. Ask your boss if you want in on the new projects so that you can increase your knowledge and experience.
Avoid Nagging your Boss
Do not pressurize your boss to give you more work rather suggest to him/her what you want to do. Come up with ideas for projects already active and suggest new ones now and then. Suggest innovative ways of getting things done around the operations.
You must also keep in mind that your suggestions do not come in the way of your fellow employees, as that can backfire.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to get more done during a workday, but your boss does not need to be burdened with filling your gaps. This simply puts your boss in a difficult position overall forcing him/her to think negatively about you.
A great way to be proactive is research. Look at competitor companies and what they are doing. Identify where your company lacks in those areas and give suggestions where required. This approach never fails.
Plan Ahead to Elevate Your Skills
When you ask your boss for all the additional workload, make sure you have the skillset needed to complete those tasks. Your boss will ask you questions before assigning you tasks, so make sure you have all the answers ready.
Tell him/her about how you will approach a certain workload. Will you take an online course to increase your skills? Will you learn from colleagues?
Confidence is key here so make sure whatever you say, your plan is concrete and realistic. Your confidence and rock-solid plan will alternatively increase your boss’s confidence in you. There will be no hesitation in increasing your workload.
Use Positive Language
Remember, your boss’s job is to keep your hands full all week. If you use statements like “I am bored” or “I feel like I am wasting my time” will only make your boss defensive.
Start by pointing out what you have already achieved during the day and then point out the opportunities still available. Statements like “I feel like there is more I can do like meet clients and I feel ready to start” will get you what you want.
Using positive language leads the conversation in the direction you desire. Your boss will feel confident about assigning you more tasks without hesitation.
Once you get the extra workload, make sure that you complete them with success. Ask for help when you need to, but ensure that everything you do reflects your work ethic. This will lead to a promotion sooner than you might think.
Change the Way You Look at Your Job
An employee looks at the job at hand like a task to be completed. Rather than use this approach, look at the tasks assigned to you as if you were the business owner. This will immediately broaden your vision and your plans will align perfectly with the business’s mission.
If you look at the job as an employee, you will wait around for your boss to assign you work. A change of perspective can do wonders on how you approach a task and look beyond simple task completion.
Your response will be less reactive and more proactive. You will be thrilled to be doing something for the success of the company. What does it do to elevate your image in the eyes of your boss? Wonders, no doubt.
Consider Your Boss a Client
Your boss is being assigned tasks from their boss. Remember that they have targets to achieve which they do through you. Look at the job at hand from your boss’s perspective and then work around those lines.
Consider what they want to achieve and become their team member instead. This will elevate your position in the eyes of your boss when they know that you care about their targets as much as your own.
This approach, however, should be dealt with carefully. Your boss should not get the feeling that you are trying to take their position instead.
This approach also depends largely on how your boss is. If he/she has leadership qualities, you will learn a lot. A difficult boss is tough to work with and will need a careful approach entirely.
Nevertheless, achieving targets is the ultimate goal for everyone, so that will always be a win for all.
Showcase Your Capabilities
You cannot expect to get additional tasks if you are not doing what you were initially hired to do. Make sure that you demonstrate your capabilities, complete your tasks first, and then jump to new ones. No one will give you an additional workload if you drop the ball in your own game.
Asking for additional work means that you are asking your boss to trust you with other responsibilities. This cannot happen if you do not gain the trust first with a stellar performance in your area of expertise.
Take an Eagle’s Eye View
When you speak to your boss map out the reasons why you taking on the additional tasks will benefit the business overall.
Does it make more money or save some? Does it build the morale of your fellow employees? Does it mean your company’s image will improve in the market?
You do not need a formal business plan but a clear path will give you the confidence you need from your boss. Everything that you do affects the business in one way or another. So, make sure you tell your boss how you doing those additional tasks that will help them achieve the mission of the company.
Know How to Juggle Your Workload
If you are assigned a new task, make sure you know how you will complete them. Consider delegating some of your workload to someone who would do it with passion. Make sure that it is a win-win for all.
Giving these suggestions to your boss will get you a reaction and a reaction is always better received than having to work it out from scratch. Your boss will be in charge in the end, but there is no harm in discreetly directing them in your favor.
Recommendation is the Way to Go
Pitch your recommendations as a dedicated employee working towards fulfilling the company goals. Remember, you can only suggest and never direct them as an order.
Invite feedback and encourage dialogue as that means that they are trying to figure out how to make your suggestion work. Answer all questions with honesty and offer solutions.
Your boss will be happy when he/she is offered a ready-made solution rather than having to come up with one. Remember, it should be a winning solution for all.
Time Your Request Thoughtfully
Timing your request is important. Consider what your boss is going through at a certain time in the company. It would be a bad time if your boss were under immense pressure close to the year-end.
The best time to ask for tasks is during the reorganization planning.
Again, avoid using words that suggest you are looking out for yourself alone, and consider using words that encapsulate the entire company.
Using phrases like “I have some ideas for the department” instead of “I would like to discuss my career” can result in favorable consequences.
You are in charge of your career and keeping that as the focal point along with the success of the company can produce great results. Keeping your dialogue focused on the support you will provide to the company will get you what you want.
Katie Holmes is a senior author at everyday-courtesy.com with over 15 years of experience in marketing and psychology. As a freelance consultant, she also supports companies and executives in overcoming communication challenges. Katie is a passionate digital nomad working on her first book on the art of communication.