— November 2, 2018
As you climb the corporate ladder, sooner or later you have to take on some additional responsibilities. You’re not going to get a better title or a bigger office without proving that you can handle more projects, more direct reports, a larger chunk of the budget—so as you consider the next step in your career, it’s worth asking: Are you actually ready to handle more responsibilities?
On Your A-Game?
You can answer this question from a few different angles. Start with a simple self-assessment: Are you at the top of your game? Are you firing on all cylinders, professionally speaking? Have you mastered all the skills required for your current job—and then some?
I’ll warn you that you can’t always trust your own instincts here! People are prone to overestimating their own ability, so look for any external factors that offer confirmation. Do colleagues routinely come to you with questions—and do you typically have the answers? Do you usually get assigned the most important jobs with the smallest margins of error? These are meaningful signs that you’re a high achiever, and possibly that you’re ready for additional responsibilities.
Another question to consider: Do you have good relationships with people at your company? Specifically with people at all levels and in multiple departments? The ability to get along—to collaborate and communicate directly—is a key skill for any leader. And if you’re already doing that with your workplace peers, that might mean you’re ready to assume a loftier position.
Again, you can look for external confirmation here: Are you frequently chosen to be the team leader, or to spearhead cross-department projects? If so, you may be ready for bigger and better things.
Beyond Your Job Description
One more thing to consider is your current job description. Do you find it to be limiting? Do you often seek to go above and beyond what’s technically your purview? And do you daydream about ways you can color outside the lines and bring additional value to the company?
If so, then you have the drive and the attitude needed to gain new responsibilities. If you have the talents and the relational abilities to match, then that’s a giveaway: It’s time to reach for that next rung on the ladder!