Expanding in your Current Role

Q. My manager and I have been having conversations about what else I want to do in my job. He has told me I am good at my job. I like what I do, I am good at it and I want to make more money which I have told him. I don’t think it is my job to tell him what else I can do, and how am I supposed to know what he expects me to say? Isn’t that his responsibility?

A. Your boss is giving you very positive signals, and you are ignoring them. You are being told you are a valuable part of the organization and you have a future with the company – if you want it. If you do want more, you need to invest some energy into looking at ways you can contribute to the success of the firm, that reaches outside the box of your current role.

Is your career goal to make more money, or is there more to it than that? Most often, organizations will reward you for greater contributions to the company, which help them make more money. So your boss is being very kind by asking what else you would like to do. Many managers would tell you what new responsibilities you have with no consideration to your interests, or career goals. It is your responsibility to look at the challenges most closely tied to your role; how can you solve more problems, develop better processes, increase revenue and have a more significant impact than you currently have.

Prepare for a different conversation with your boss. Look at areas of work your work bumps up against. At the intersection, there is probably plenty of opportunity for you to have a positive impact. Take the big view and put potential dollar signs next to each area where you might take more responsibility. Which areas show the most growth or the most savings. Now is the nit the time to look at small incremental gains.
Ask for the meeting with your boss, and you need to start the agenda with, ”I am very committed to this company. I love my current job, and know I can do more. I want to have a greater impact and be successful. You have asked me for areas of interest, and I have identified a few I’d like to talk to you about.”
Even if none of these areas is what your manager had in mind, you have demonstrated a commitment and energy toward your work and that you are willing to take responsibility for your career success.

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