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What to Do When You’ve Outgrown Your Job

You’ve been in your job for several months now and are doing tasks far above your job description. Yet you feel your boss is oblivious to the fact that you’ve moved way beyond the duties you were originally hired to do. How can you get not only recognition, but also a raise and a new title?

This situation requires a bit of patience — and planning. The worst thing you can do is march into your boss’s office and make demands. The best thing you can do is a bit of homework to lay the foundation for what you want. Follow these tips and learn how to get from here to there.

Make a List

Compile a list of the new responsibilities you’ve taken on, and estimate the amount of time you spend in each area. For example, let’s say your job has expanded, and now you train new hires. Write out how many hours per day, week or month you spend on that task. Also write out how many hours you spend on the duties you were originally hired to do. You may find that you are doing the work of 1.5 full-time employees. When you do meet with your boss, present this information and focus on the fact that you’re actually saving the company money, because your boss would have to hire another person to do these jobs if you weren’t.

Check It Twice

Now review your list and search for consistencies among the new responsibilities you’ve taken on. Look at this list with a fresh perspective to see if there is a new title that logically evolves. If such a title does not jump out at you, look around the company to see if there are others who have jobs that include similar tasks. What titles do those employees use? Can you estimate their salaries?

Create a New Title If You Need To

If you don’t see anyone in a job with responsibilities similar to yours, feel free to play with a few titles you think your boss may accept. Make sure the titles you present fit the company.

Show Me the Money

A new title should have a new salary structure. Visit the human resources department and ask to see the grading system used for salaries. Larger companies will have such a system in place. If you are in a smaller company, you may have to project what you think the new title or position is worth. Scour the want ads for similar jobs that list salaries, and use the resources in Monster’s Salary & Benefits Advice.

Talk with the Boss

Finally, make an appointment with your boss to discuss your job and your findings. Make sure you outline what you want to discuss ahead of time, so your boss can devote a solid chunk of time to you. In other words, you don’t want your boss to “fit you in” between meetings or phone calls. This is serious business.

The bottom line is that it’s up to you to look out for yourself in a company. Your boss is busy and often does not realize the extent of your duties or how much they may have expanded since you were hired. It’s your job to keep her informed.


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