Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Get Out of Work You Don't Want to Do

We all have tasks as work we'd rather avoid, but usually we just suck it up and get them over with as quickly as possible.

But is there a way to get out of doing work you really don't want to do? What if you always get stuck with jobs that don't stretch your skills or provide you any new opportunities? Or, you're always getting the drudge work because you're the youngest member of a team?

Is there a way to say "no" without killing your career?

The answer lies in how you approach your manager.

Instead of saying, for example, "You know, it's not fair that I get stuck doing these stupid reports every week that a monkey could do," you say something like, "I'd be happy to do the reports, but I'd also really like an opportunity to sit in on the next meeting with the marketing department so I can better grasp our new social media strategy."

Another way to get out of doing dreaded tasks is by networking more with other departments and colleagues so that you're not the last to know of new projects that could provide some new opportunities. If you learn of them early, you're ready to stick your hand up and volunteer, and even propose some new ideas. If you're busy with more strategically important work, it's less likely you're going to get saddled with mundane tasks.

Of course, you're going to have to tread carefully when you're trying to get out of hated tasks, because that means someone else will have to do them. While that person may not despise them as much as you, you don't want to be seen as someone who shoves off unwanted tasks to greedily grasp better assignments.

That's why it can pay off that when you're networking within your organization, make sure you reach out to senior members of a team who are well respected by others. If you're seen as someone who wants to learn -- and not just whine about the lack of opportunities -- then these senior workers are more likely to include you in helping with key projects or clients. It may start as nothing more than taking notes during a meeting or helping at a conference, but your hard work can impress them enough to get your on their radar for future opportunities.

Remember: The only way to grow in your job is to make a plan and then plot a strategy on how to reach your goal. Be willing to do your homework, reach out to key people -- and don't get discouraged if you get a few "no" responses. Your persistence and resilience in the face of rejection may impress others enough that you'll soon be saying goodbye to those hated tasks.

1 comment:

Dan said...

"Be willing to do your homework, reach out to key people -- and don't get discouraged if you get a few "no" responses."

For me this is the key sentence of this inspirational article. Thank you, Anita!

Recently I covered this topic on my blog too. My piece is about "What to do when you hate what you are doing in your current job". Check it out if you have the time :)