There is no better way to demonstrate your value as an employee than by showing initiative and a desire to grow. Taking on additional projects and new tasks – without waiting to be asked – is a great way display these leadership traits.

Watch and learn

Finding ways to contribute beyond your job function requires careful observation. As you learn your new job, you should stay alert for what others around you are doing, and become acquainted with their processes and contributions as much as you can. Keen observation skills will help you see opportunities to add value and showcase your unique abilities. Then make your mark with action.

How to Find New Projects

These three suggestions make it easy to open doors to new projects:

• Talk to your supervisor. If you have regular meetings with your manager, it’s easy to share your interest in taking on new challenges. If not, see if you can set up a few minutes for a brief discussion. Prepare for the conversation with examples of additional projects or possible improvement ideas that you have observed or discussed with others. Start the conversation simply by saying something like: “I think I am ready for more responsibility and would like to help the team as much I can”. Then plant some seeds for projects where you think you can add the most value with your unique skill set.

• Seek out stressed employees. A good way to find a new project is by identifying areas where co-workers are always feeling behind or rushing toward a deadline. Whether in the cubicle next to you or in another department, your offer to help can be most welcome, and a great window of opportunity. Be careful that you are not taken advantage of, and get credit for your contributions. And of course, never neglect your responsibilities when helping others. Mention these situations and what you learned in your meetings with your supervisor to continue to reinforce your proactive nature.

• Raise your hand first. In group or team meetings, there are frequently opportunities to volunteer. In volunteering for either work projects or an after-hours event, you will become known as someone who is willing and committed. You can also build a new, cross-functional network by volunteering for broader projects. And as you know, the power of your network should never be underestimated.

Under Promise, Over Deliver

When you’ve found an additional project or task, you must put your best foot forward. Learn to set reasonable expectations of how and what you can contribute, and then always go above and beyond. If you act exceptional and work at trying to do something extra in every opportunity, you will quickly earn a reputation that will allow your value to soar.

Make your new job opportunity the best it can be. Thanks for staying in touch with Knopman Marks. We wish you every success!

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Written by Leigh Yanocha
Leigh Yanocha is an Executive Director and Head of People Strategy at Knopman Marks Financial Training. The employee projects she’s developed, including recruitment, coaching, and team building programs, have set the cultural foundation of the company. Strategic and compassionate, Leigh is constantly pursuing new ways to support the growth of the business and protect its most important resource: people. Outside of work, Leigh is honored to serve as a Board Member of the Hudson County CASA, advocating for foster children. She is also a proud mother of three.