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The team at Michael page have shared some great tips on how to speak to your boss when chasing a salary increase, promotion, title change, or just asking your boss for more responsibility.

Balancing more responsibility while managing your existing workload can be challenging, which is why it’s important to have a plan in mind to help you move forward. If you’re looking to step up in your career, here are a few tips on how to ask for more responsibility at work – and get it.

Be very clear on what responsibilities you want to take on

Before you speak to anyone in your organisation, you must be crystal clear on the skills you want to develop, or the areas where you’d like to gain more experience. Without this, you risk taking on tasks and investing time in projects that won’t help you reach your end goal.

If you’re looking to take on a new promotion, look at the skills and responsibilities of your co-workers who currently hold those roles. This will help you get an idea of what is required from you to get to that position. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a pay rise, you’ll need to identify where you can add value for the company to justify an increase in salary. Focus on projects or tasks that can help the business save on time or increase profitability.

Look for opportunities with business impact

More responsibility can be a good thing but you need to demonstrate how your extra projects or tasks will add value for your company. Once you’ve listed out the responsibilities you potentially want to take on, go through and evaluate the benefits for the business. Then pick and choose the ones that you believe will deliver the most impact. This will help you put together a strong business case for your manager.

Come with a plan and options

Your boss’ KPIs are linked with yours, so be prepared for questions around how you will be able to manage your current workload and performance with added responsibilities. By presenting a plan that demonstrates that you have considered how to handle your existing scope along with extra projects, you’ll reassure your boss that your new tasks won’t impact your current role.

Choose your timing and your words wisely

If your boss is stressed out or you’re approaching a busy period at work, it could be more difficult for the company to consider letting you take on more responsibility. While there’s never the “perfect time” to ask your manager for additional tasks, timing does play a big role in driving a successful outcome.

There are some great opportunities to discuss a step up in responsibilities: at your mid-year or end-of-year review, or during a company restructure, for example. On top of this, how you talk to your boss can have a big impact: try to frame it as discussing ideas to improve your department, or taking some of the workload off your manager’s shoulders, rather than saying, “I want to gain more experience” or “I need this for a promotion”.

Remember, it’s a dialogue

No matter what the outcome is, asking for more responsibility demonstrates to your boss that you’re proactive, you take initiative, and that you’re willing to grow. While you may get a “no” this time, don’t be discouraged. If your manager is aware that you want to take on more, they may find new projects or more opportunities for you, or work with you to find an alternative solution.