As you grow in your career, it’s inevitable that you will have to take on more responsibilities and increase your scope of work. Not only is this a great way to prove you are ready for more challenges, but it also shows them that you’re committed to continued growth and an eventual leadership position.
However, the transition to handling more responsibilities can be difficult for some professionals. This article will offer ideas and advice from professionals who have had similar experiences.
Know That You Are Capable of More
Don’t hesitate to take on more challenges and responsibilities if you feel you are ready for them. While you can always let others know if you feel overwhelmed or are struggling to manage everything, be confident in your ability to handle more.
As Ann McFerran, CEO of Glamnetic states, “The first step is acknowledging to yourself that you are capable of handling more responsibility. You wouldn’t have been given additional assignments if your superiors didn’t think you could handle it.”
If you are given more work and responsibilities, don’t be afraid to ask for advice and clarification. Even if you feel you should be able to handle it all on your own, asking questions and seeking advice is a great way to show that you are ready for more challenges.
Ask For Advice from Peers and Mentors
If you are feeling overwhelmed, one of the best ways to get advice is to approach your peers. They have likely been in your shoes before and have advice on how to better manage your time, responsibilities, and expectations.
“My team knows that I am always willing to help with anything they need. I’ve been in their shoes before, so I know how it feels to be bogged down with work,” says Jae Pak, Founder of Jae Pak MD Medical. “As such, I make it clear that they can come to me for anything, whether it’s just to brainstorm or for a more in-depth conversation.”
If you’re a leader but don’t have time to mentor, don’t hesitate to seek out a mentor to fill in for you. Mentors can be great people to speak with about your new responsibilities. They have been through similar growth stages in their careers and can offer insight on how to manage your new position better.
Organize Your Responsibilities and Tasks
Before you try to tackle everything at once, take some time to organize the responsibilities that you have been given. This can include both your day-to-day tasks as well as your long-term projects and goals.
“I like to stay on top of things by creating to-do lists and setting deadlines for myself,” shares Nabeel Abdullah, CEO of Sapphire. “This helps me break down my tasks into manageable chunks and prevents anything from slipping through the cracks.”
Organizing your responsibilities can help you identify areas that you need to work on improving and where you might need some assistance. If you are worried about taking on too much, let your superior know which responsibilities you are ready to handle and which you would like to work on with assistance.
Not only will this help you feel more confident in your role, it will also help you identify areas that you need to improve in. This can include everything from your communication skills to the amount of time you spend on research and learning.
Set Boundaries and Work With Your Team
When you take on more responsibilities, you will also likely have more things to do on a daily basis. Working with your team and setting boundaries can help you decide what is appropriate to take on during your work day.
When you take on more responsibilities and tasks, others will likely notice. Let your co-workers know what you are taking on, and ask for help if you need it. Setting boundaries with your team will help you become less overwhelmed and help them see what you are capable of.
“In order to be successful, you need to set boundaries with your team and let them know what you are and are not comfortable with,” says Josh Weiss, Founder and CEO of Reggie.
“When I first took on more responsibility, I let my team know that I was still available to help with whatever they needed but that I might not be able to respond as quickly as before.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Let Go of Control
As you increase the amount of work you are doing and the responsibilities you are responsible for, you will begin to let go of control over certain areas. This may be scary for some people, but fighting to maintain control over everything is unsustainable.
“One of the hardest things for me was learning to let go of control,” admits Melissa Rhodes, CEO of Psychics1on1. “I think a lot of us tend to want to do everything ourselves, but that’s just not possible or healthy when you have more responsibility. You need to learn to delegate and trust that others will be able to handle things.”
Letting go of control can help you focus on the things that you need to be doing and give you more time to focus on the big picture.
Make sure to let go of control in a healthy manner. Letting go of control should happen gradually and with intention. You should have a place in mind where you want to let go of control and have a plan for how to get there.
Communicate Your Vision to Your Team
Communicating your vision to your team can help you set clear expectations for your team and let them know what success looks like for you.
This can be helpful for co-workers in their own jobs, but it can also help them understand what you expect from them while helping to avoid any communication problems down the road. Furthermore, clear communication can help you avoid micromanaging your team.
Similarly, teams will likely have their own expectations and standards for you. As your team sees you take on more responsibilities, they will have higher expectations of you. Use this as an opportunity to let them know what you expect from them.
“No matter what field you’re in, it’s always important to be able to communicate your vision to your team,” says Michael Fischer, Founder of Elite HRT. “If you can’t do that, then it will be very difficult to get everyone on the same page and working towards the same goal.”
Establish Clear Expectations With Those Above You
As you take on more responsibilities and grow in your career, you will likely come across managers who have set expectations for you. Use these opportunities to set expectations for your manager and let them know what you need from them.
Moreover, there are likely standards or requirements for your position. Make sure you know what they are, and let your manager know if there are any areas where you need a bit of help or assistance.
“Clear, definable, and achievable expectations are the key to success when taking on more responsibility at work,” says Ryan Delk, CEO of Primer Microschools. “If you don’t have a sense of what’s expected of you, it will be very difficult to exceed those expectations.”
Network to Find Mentors and Advisers
If you are feeling a little bit lost or unsure of where you are going in your career, networking can be a great way to find mentors and advisers who might be able to help you.
Likewise, if you are ready for more challenges but aren’t sure where to start or what to do, networking can be a great way to get advice and information on what to do next.
“I benefited greatly from having a mentor at work when I was taking on more responsibility,” says Karim Hachem, VP of eCommerce at La Blanca. “She was someone I could go to for advice and guidance, and she really helped me navigate the waters of my new role.”
Set Deadlines and Work Consistently
As you take on more responsibilities, you will have more to do and more deadlines to meet. To stay productive and meet these deadlines, set realistic deadlines for yourself. With more to do, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of constantly working and never taking a break.
Avoid this trap by setting realistic deadlines and letting other people know when you are taking breaks. This will help you avoid burning out.
“My colleagues and I have a weekly meeting to go over our deadlines and assignments for the week,” says Baris Zeren, CEO of BookYourData. “This helps us stay on track and accountable to each other, and it also allows us to adjust our schedules if needed.”
Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Well-Being
Taking care of your physical and mental health is important for staying healthy at any stage of your career. As you take on more responsibilities, make sure you are still taking time to rest and recover.
As you take on more responsibilities, it can be easy to let your self-confidence slip. Make sure you are recognizing your accomplishments and using positive self-talk to stay confident in what you are doing.
“Far too often, we forget to take care of ourselves when we’re under a lot of stress,” says Justin Olson, Chief Marketing Officer of Fast Pace Health. “When taking on a new role, you need to perform at your best, and that means taking care of your mind and body.”
Taking on more responsibility at work can be daunting, but it’s important to remember that you are capable of handling it. Just be sure to communicate with your team, set boundaries, and delegate when necessary. And don’t forget to take care of yourself!
With a few tips from those in the know, you can ease into that new role and make it your own.
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