Taking on more responsibility lays the groundwork for getting a promotion.

We all want to get promoted. We want to take that next step in our careers. To do this, there needs to be an opportunity. Most importantly, you must show that you can take on greater responsibility. You need to show you are up for the challenge and can be successful. There are many ways you can approach career development.

Here are 8 ways you can take on extra responsibilities at work:


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1. talk to your boss

How to ask for more responsibility at work? The first step to taking on more at work is to speak to your boss. Tell them you think you are ready for a new challenge and are prepared to take on more work. If you have ideas of how you can do more or what you’d like to work on, express it to them. Speaking with your boss shows initiative and communicates to them you want to take a step up in your career.

Ask your boss about professional development programs or company-sponsored programs. These programs can include workshops, seminars, and courses specifically designed to enhance your skills and knowledge needed for career advancement. Employees should actively seek out and participate in these programs to signal their commitment to personal growth and to gain new skills. 

2. learn new skills

Opportunities to take on more work and do new tasks often present themselves when you add new skills. Part of career development is consistently evolving your skills. So, learn new skills by taking online courses or certification. You can accelerate your learning, expand your network, and increase your confidence by taking advantage of online courses. There are so many to choose from, and all at different price points; some are even free. 

Take part in company workshops and seminars, and take advantage of the career development programs offered by your employer. If your company doesn’t offer professional development, take it upon yourself to learn new skills. Doing this will prove you are ready to take on more at work.

3. offer to help stressed-out coworkers

A simple and effective way to challenge yourself more is to help out others who are stressed or have too much on their plate. This will not only be welcomed by your coworkers, but it will prove you are a team player and willing to go above and beyond.

Not only will helping a stressed-out coworker bring a positive attitude to the workplace, but you will also gain new skills and experiences from their job duties. These new skills can help to advance your career or be a starting point for additional responsibilities. 

4. take on volunteer opportunities

Volunteering allows you to take on responsibilities that may be available in your current job. Look for volunteering positions that align with your career and the type of responsibilities you want to prove you can do.  

Volunteering roles may be available within your company, or you could explore external opportunities. Try searching out volunteering roles in mentoring or coaching, whether inside or outside of the workplace. Coaching and mentoring someone can help leverage their experience and open up your professional network. It’s a great way to give back, add new skills, and prove yourself.

5. lead social events

There may not be opportunities right now for you to take on more responsibility within your role, but there may be other things you can do within your company. You can lead social events or become part of committees within the company. 

It’s a great way to collaborate with others and show them what you can do. Creating memorable social events and being an active member within the company can prove you are ready to advance your career.

6. take initiative

You can’t always wait for opportunities to present themselves. Sometimes, you need to take initiative and show you are ready. Identify opportunities that could allow you to take on more. Have a plan, express why you are qualified to take on more, how you plan to manage your time, and offer options.

When taking more initiative, make sure that you are measuring your success, whether that is setting up key performance indicators (KPIs) for yourself or setting clear objectives when taking the initiative. It's important that you have quantifiable metrics to show if your extra initiatives are successful. 

7. over-deliver on your current work

All roles have a certain expectation of what you’ll accomplish. If you really want to prove yourself, you need to over-deliver. Don’t just do what is expected of you. Do more and take on more responsibility. Meet your deadlines, do great work, and then take things to the next level. Present new ideas, think outside the box, and always be looking for ways to add more value to the work you do.

8. get the timing right

Timing is important. Think about the current state of the company, your boss’s current workload and project priorities. There are good and bad times to speak about taking on more work. 

For example, during annual reviews or one-on-one coaching sessions, it is an ideal time to ask for additional responsibilities. Right after budget cuts or during a dip in sales is not. Get the timing right to increase your chances of getting a yes.

Being successful will open the door to more responsibilities. If you prove you have the ability to take on more work, you will be one step closer to getting a promotion and taking the next step in your career.

not sure if your current job has the room for growth you’re looking for? find a new role with the level of responsibility you’re looking for.

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