Getting The Opportunity To Prove I’m Competent

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about career progress: I need some advice as to what my next step should be here or how to bring up the subject and tell them how much more I can do (and how bored I am with what I am doing) without sounding like I think what I’m doing is beneath me or anything?

I’ve been at my new job for 9 mos. However, I have almost 5 years of experience in my prior job doing the exact same thing. I work in a small office, with two bosses (partners) and one other co-worker. In the past 9 months, neither boss has given me any extra responsibility.¬† Although, I have experience in all aspects of what our company does, and I am damn good at all of them. I am only allowed responsibility for one thing everyday, which I can do in my sleep.

I have asked on many, many occasions, offered up my assistance to lighten their workloads or to take on certain duties and am always shot down. I don’t even get the opportunity to show what I am capable of or how competent I am. I don’t know if I have done something to make them believe I am not competent, or if they are just not willing to let go and let someone else do some of their work, for whatever reason. I need some advice as to what my next step should be here or how to bring up the subject and tell them how much more I can do (and how bored I am with what I am doing) without sounding like I think what I’m doing is beneath me or anything. Please help ASAP. Thanks.

Signed, Competent And Bored

Dear Competent And Bored:

What do you do with your time after doing the “one thing everyday, which I can do in my sleep” or does that task take enough time to make it appear you are busy? You say you have “offered up my assistance to lighten their workloads or to take on certain duties and am always shot down.”

Apparently when you are “shot down” you have accepted that without frankly disclosing that you feel bored. Therefore, it is time for a candid performance evaluation; not one in which your again offer to lighten their loads, but one in which you and your bosses review and assess what you are doing. And after their evaluation of your current work, it is time to discuss your future. Here it is when you can frankly reveal that you are bored with doing the same thing and propose what you can do for your workplace. Are your ready for that?

Request a review, say in two weeks. Why? Because if you have offered many, many times to assist and have been shot down that hasn’t worked. Look in the mirror. Say, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, do I come across as professional in dress, speech, and decorum as them all?” After your mirror answers, “Yes, you are”, then use that two weeks to think big, think positive, and keep your mouth shut while you ponder. Nine months is a long enough, if pregnant to give birth, so what ideas have you conceived during your nine months on the job? Surely you have seen ways to cut wasted time, wasted supplies, wasted energy, and wasted money.

Also you should have conceived of innovative ways to please your bosses and in turn delight your office’s customers. For example, how does your company gather feedback from customers; using a focus group, doing phone or email surveys? Or might an Internet newsletter help sell your services? Of course since you know your business and I don’t, you will have workplace specific ideas. Have you proposed details for cutting waste and/or constructive ways to make your place more profitable? Once you have detailed concrete waste cutting, money-saving proposals, I predict you will be taken seriously.

Does this make sense? If not, I hope these thoughts will spark ideas of your own to transform boredom to courage and creativity. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and that means thinking about others feeling excited about their work as well as you.

William Gorden