How to Let Your Supervisor Know You’re Ready for More at Work
Unlike fairy tales may lead you to believe, opportunity doesn’t always find itself on your doorstep. This means your supervisor won’t necessarily be the person who recommends you for a new job or offers you a training program or professional coaching to enhance your qualifications. There’s no fairy godmother in the professional world.
This isn’t a bad thing, either. You have the power to control your own destiny but to do so, you need to let the powers that be know you’re ready, willing, and motivated to accelerate your career trajectory. If you’ve been wanting to move up the career ladder, now is the time to take the reins and advocate for yourself.
5 tips for how to communicate that you’re ready for more at work — with your words and your actions
1. Overdeliver on your current workload.
Having a great work ethic and making sure to always deliver your work on time and in a satisfactory manner is the first step in showing your boss you’re ready for more responsibility. However, simply showing up and putting in the work often isn’t enough. When you’re really ready for a career change, step it up and overdeliver.
Wondering how? There are many ways to improve on your performance without burning yourself out or spending even more hours at the office or working late at home. First, audit how you approach your systems at work. Can anything be automated to free up more of your time to work on more pressing duties? Can you speed up any manual functions? Have you considered your approach to customer experience lately? What can you do to improve on the overall experience so your customers leave their interactions raving about your work? These are only a few suggestions on how to improve on your current responsibilities. Can you think of anything else specific to your job that will highlight your top-notch work?
2. Take on more responsibility without being asked.
Similar to overdelivering, show your manager you’re ready for more at work by stepping up and taking on additional responsibility without their asking. Maybe this means volunteering for small tasks that no one else is very enthusiastic about in team meetings or pitching new ideas to better streamline your team’s efforts. It could be helping your teammates work through their own tasks when you have moments of downtime, seeking out new leads for your department, or mentoring a newer employee.
3. Audit your strengths and weaknesses.
When it’s time to meet with your superiors and ask for a new position, they’re going to want to know what makes you the ideal candidate. Why, when you’re currently doing such a good job in your current role, should they consider promoting you to a new position, forcing them to train you for that role while also finding someone to fill yours?
Are you ready to answer that question? Well, you need to be.
First, make a list of your strengths and weaknesses, and don’t skip over that second portion. Both are extremely important to understand and present to the person in charge of moving you up. Showcasing your strengths may help you win a new job. When possible, try to make every achievement quantifiable. If you can show how any of your efforts bettered the company, you’ll be a step closer to your goal of moving up in the company.
Your weaknesses also provide you quality information. First, they can help you make improvements before you even put yourself out there and let your supervisor know you’re looking for a new role. However, they also help show your superiors that you’re introspective enough to figure out what needs improving and be honest about it. Great leaders are not robots. They are real humans — flaws and all. Being honest and working to improve yourself shows that you’re an employee worth investing in.
4. Dive deep in professional development if you’re ready for more at work.
Now that you know what facets of your professional skill set or mindset may need improvement, it’s your responsibility to work on them. Are there any educational opportunities available to you at work? If not, what courses or training programs can you enroll in and work through independently? While working remotely is an adjustment, your access to professional development opportunities grew tenfold when everyone began taking their work online and remotely. Now, you can learn from people and organizations all over the world.
5. Speak up and let your aspirations be known.
If you’ve started working on the steps above, your efforts likely haven’t gone unnoticed by your superiors. However, simply dropping hints isn’t going to get you anywhere. Now is the time to be direct and ask for what you want.
Here’s the tricky part about speaking up: You’re going to want your supervisor to know you’re ready for more at work before the opportunity arises. This may mean bringing up your desires during a performance evaluation and letting them know your goals for the next year include moving up in the company. Or, if a position may be coming available in the near future, it might mean scheduling one-on-one time with them now to get your voice heard.
Is a job is currently open, but you haven’t let the hiring team or your supervisor know of your aspirations? If so, don’t wait a moment longer. You want to be in the situation in which they realize an internal candidate is interested before they spend the money advertising the position for external candidates. And remember, if you do happen to speak up too late and someone else gets the job, at least your supervisor now knows your intentions and can better advocate for you in the future.