We all know that we have many more job responsibilities than the ones originally stated on the job description.
It is more and more common to see “other responsibilities” listed as a responsibility in many advertised jobs, and these can be anything that your supervisors can think of that might be within the needs of the company. Although seeing “other responsibilities” in a job advertisement might look like a red flag, it is important to remember that the more responsibilities we have the more experience we will get.
Nevertheless, once we start on the job, it is really important that we know exactly what our responsibilities are and also what our supervisors are expecting us to accomplish. Keep in mind that a significant part of our job evaluations will be based on our ability to perform our duties. In other words, we need to have a clear and realistic expectation of what we need to do, what others are expecting us to do and also what we would like to do to show that we are a valuable employee. Here are some recommendations:
1. Stay away from the perception that somehow you can become a super-employee. Run that extra mile, but always recognizing that we all have limitations. Be realistic on the expectations you set up for yourself.
2. Prepare a weekly list of your current projects and assign a priority to each one of them. Work on them based on their importance, priority level and deadline.
3. Allocate a specific amount of time to each project either per day or per week depending on your work schedule and priorities.
4. If you need to start working on a new project, add it to your list and re-analyze your time commitments and priorities for each of them.
5. Take on new projects only if all your other projects are running smoothly and you have the time to commit to it. If you take on a new project and you find yourself having problems dealing with your other projects, request a meeting with your supervisor as soon as possible. If the new project is something you are really interested in, maybe ask for help or evaluate if you can put on hold one of your previous commitments.
6. Meet with your supervisor on a regular basis (ideally once a week) to go over your projects and the priorities and deadlines for each of them.
7. Clearly and unambiguously ask your supervisor his or her expectations of you so that you can focus first on meeting those.
If you feel you are capable and have the time to take on more responsibilities, by all means meet with your supervisor and let them know. This will show interest, commitment and initiative on your part and it will definitely show them how valuable you can be as an employee. Good luck!