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How to Ask Your Boss for Work Opportunities

21 March 2022

You have been working at your company for two years. You work your best for every project that is thrown at you. You are consistent and your colleagues could rely on you as a team worker. But yet, you still haven’t gotten the opportunity you are vying for. There was a project right around the corner that you wanted to be assigned to, then it was given to your colleague who was a later hire than you are. You are still waiting for your boss to finally call you and give you a promotion.

But why is it taking too long? Aren’t you working hard enough? Your superior seems to not notice everything you do. You are still not getting the big projects you want to handle. You feel like you are stuck and not getting the most out of your position. Do you think you should resign and go to a company that will make you feel more valued?

We know you probably can’t resist talking to your boss and asking what the issue with you is. But before you give in to that temptation, please ask yourself first if you are being proactive in your position, if you are doing more work than what is stated in your job description, if you help other groups and teams in the office or when you’re done with work, do you help your colleagues. This is what Fast Company believes to be a fearless attitude at work.

You can’t wait for approval forever. At some point, you have to be fearless in taking initiative and doing action yourself.

You can absolutely create work opportunities for yourself if you become more proactive. It’s simply not enough to just do prescribed work. If you have dreams and plans for your career, then you must do the first step to show everyone that you can take charge and that you take the job very seriously.

When you are proactive, you are highly more viable for success. You provide a little more than what they expect from you. You show what you could offer to the table. When people see that you’re a team player, they are more likely to approach you when they need someone for a big project. Being proactive will benefit the company you’re helping, your officemates with the help you’re offering, and yourself to achieve what you want in the workplace.

This is hard when it’s not your personality to do so. They say it’s easier for senior individuals who usually don’t wait for their supervisor’s approval so that they could decide for themselves. Don’t be one of those who hesitate to speak up out of fear that they might get scolded for overstepping boundaries.

They say that this fear is usually proven as natural. You should be confident with yourself. Research about the company and industry you’re trying to trek. Here are a few tips for being more proactive at every level.

Write down your strengths and weaknesses

Write down your strengths and weaknesses.

Even though you are not applying for the job anymore, still make a record of your strengths and weaknesses. Have you shown everyone what you can do? Are you able to use the skill you’re strongest at for work?

Look at your weaknesses as well. They might actually add up to your strengths too. For example, you don’t like that you’re the youngest in your team. But instead of seeing it as you age, you should see it as an advantage that you know best about today’s market. Make sure you understand your colleagues too before you step up and show them what you have.

Choose the project that is right

Choose the project that is right.

When you say proactive, it doesn’t mean you are simply adding to what you have to do on a workday. You should be able to choose a project that is a great opportunity for your company and not just for you to move up in the corporate ladder.

To know where you should help your company for its growth and your step up, refer to these questions as a guide.

List down exclusive information you know about the business, company, or industry.
Identify what possibilities your company and team could tap into to branch out.
Observe what’s missing in the company.
List down what strikes your fancy in the business. What among these are you qualified to help?

You have to be ready to work with a different team once you take on other challenges at work. When they see you can work with all types of people, the management can say that you’re interested in your personal and the company’s growth.

Sell yourself.

Sell yourself.

You have to be confident with your skills and the value that you could add to a project. Don’t make it long and just let your boss know why having you on the team will be a great decision. How will it benefit the company? What skills can you offer?

Remember that you should know why the project you are trying to take is important for the company. You have to be sure of what you are pursuing. Ask a trustworthy colleague for their opinion. Over time, you’ll find a project that you would absolutely love to do.

Make sure you can still fulfill your existing responsibilities.

Make sure you can still fulfill your existing responsibilities.

You should show everyone in the workplace that you could keep up with the additional workload while not sacrificing your main tasks. You should never focus on a self-initiated project and lose your will to do your other tasks.

When you are proactive but then you drop your other responsibilities for your self-initiated project, then that will just show your boss that you can’t handle your time properly. This may be the reason you’re looking for as to why you haven’t advanced in your career as you’ve always wanted to.

Be efficient at work by using ergonomic furniture such as a standing desk that will help you stay alert by shifting from a sitting to a standing position at any time of the day.

Communicate your plans to your boss

Communicate your plans to your boss

Let your boss know what you want to happen to your career. Ask them nicely to let you know if there are opportunities that you could try. If your manager is good at handling his or her people and you expressed your interest to him or her, then he or she should tell you when there are upcoming projects that are fit for your interests, skills, and strengths.