wikiHow to Expand Your Job

If your current job isn't all it's cracked up to be, why not think about expanding your existing job? While job descriptions can sometimes feel like a strait jacket, they don't need to be and provided you're bold and confident, with some strategic thinking you can turn your job into something a bit more exciting, dynamic, and suited to your evolving skill set. Move boldly where others have forgotten to tread...


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    Look for unfulfilled gaps. These are the gaps through which unsolved problems fall and there are always some around. If you can see solutions and nobody else is paying them much attention, they are there for the taking. Spend a little of your time taking these under your wing and work away at them. In many cases there won't be a need to ask for permission; it will be a case of an evolving interest and can serve you really well to advance if you find ideal solutions. For more advice on finding problems to solve, see How to Define a Problem.
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    Note the opportunities as they arise. If you have a gift for noticing how things could be done better, more clearly, faster, etc., note them down and work through them when you can. Learn How to Be Proactive. The more little solutions you can tuck under your belt, the more your initiative will be noticed and applauded.
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    Make sure that working on these issues is not detracting from your properly assigned job and make sure the gap problems are worth solving. It will harm your career or trade trajectory if you're not doing your job properly, so make sure that is taken care of before taking on additional tasks. You might even need to devote some personal time to the gap problems but if you consider that solving them is worth it, that will be of benefit to you. To help you work out whether it is worth attacking the gaps, ask yourself:
    • What benefits will accrue to the organization if I solve this problem? (List them)
    • Will my work benefit personally? Is there a likelihood of improved job chances?
    • Will the time spent on this detract from my usual job?
    • If so, am I willing to give some extra time to it?
    • Am I able to solve this problem by myself/at all, or will I need help from others? (See How to Be Resourceful.)
    • Will I enjoy this challenge?
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    Think about who else you might bring on board to either help you expand your job or support you generally. If other people can confirm that what you're doing is needed, essential, and useful, then you're more likely to get managerial buy-in.
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    Find ways to present your solutions clearly. Be organized about your solutions and keep records, notes, photos, etc., of progress and results so that you can demonstrate the improvements with ease. It also helps if you can develop something of broader utility, such as a manual, a system, or even signage, that helps colleagues to benefit as well. Be prepared with fast, pointed, and accurate explanations of how your solutions have improved the workplace. Then read How to Get a Promotion!


  • It is a good idea to seek confirmation of your newly created role in some way, as this helps to ensure that you either get to keep this work as part of your expanded role, or it sets you in great stead for promotion or a raise. Have a chat with the boss about how your expanded role proves that you are ready for more money/responsibility/influence, etc.


  • Watch that you don't overstep the mark or boundaries and walk into someone else's work. You are looking for unattended gaps in the workplace, not to sidle into someone else's role; that will show up someone else, make you look difficult, and can risk having you lose your boss' confidence in your initiative and ability to work without being micro-managed.

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