Taking on More Responsibility

 ImageMany articles about millennials discuss our entitlement and our desire to work on important projects out of the gate. Although I agree we should temper our expectations, I think it’s important to be assertive. Here are four tips on getting more responsibility…

  1. Commit 100 percent. Though bland tasks, like shipping packages, can seem mundane, realize that every task is important. Fully commit to whatever task is in front of you. If you’re disengaged, this might cause your supervisor to hesitate to give you more substantial work. Your first priority is to do what you were hired to and to do it well.
  2. Be proactive. Reach out to stressed co-workers. If you’re in a meeting and someone mentions she’s struggling to come up with new copy, reach out and see if you can brainstorm with her. Or if she’s busy, email her a few ideas. I’ve found that following up after meetings makes a positive impression on co-workers.
  3. Find weaknesses. Is there a void you can fill? At my past internship, I noticed the social media posts could be more effective so I reached out to the woman who ran the accounts. I told her I was interested in social media and asked if I could learn about our social strategy. As it turns out, she neglected social media because she was too busy, so she ended up turning them over to me. The key here is to be careful and polite when giving suggestions because the goal is to benefit the team not to tear others down.
  4. Remain curious.  As an intern, you are there to learn. A great way to learn is to ask engaging questions. It is up to you to research your questions first but know all team members are valuable resources. Your questions give insight into your thought-process and let your supervisor know that you’re engaged.

What have you learned from your internship about acquiring more responsibility?

Kaitlyn Chock

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8 Responses to Taking on More Responsibility

  1. cbuch232 says:

    I like the way you approached the social media problem at your former internship. Instead of criticizing the company’s social media use right off the bat, you approached the issue in a constructive and humble manner. It sounds like your supervisor felt comfortable handing over the reigns to you partially because of your thoughtfulness. Thanks for the insightful post Kaitlyn.

  2. pdxsx says:

    Well done, Kaitlyn! Your second point (proactivity) was spot-on and represented outstanding advice! If there is one thing employers and supervisors want to see more of in young people, it’s a proactive attitude! Nice work and GREAT insight.

  3. Whenever I think of being assertive I think of Spongebob and Plankton… is that weird? But honestly, that episode has stuck in my head. And reading about how to be assertive as well as reading your points about responsibility are all good things to keep in mind.

    My favorite point you made is to be proactive. Taking initiative and getting our of your comfort zone to reach out to colleagues will only benefit you in the end (if you approach them in a non-aggressive way). Also being able bring fresh ideas where you see weaknesses is really a cool thing we get to do as new grads, even though we haven’t graduated quite yet.

    These are all insightful bits of info from your experiences that also serve as pieces of advice!

  4. Wow, Kaitlyn. I absolutely loved this! It seems like everything I read about our generation teaches me something new about it. Your post on gaining more responsibility is one of the most insightful pieces I’ve read thus far. I enjoyed reading over your point to fully commit. I’m sure many of us receive a few menial tasks each day that aren’t necessarily categorized under what we’re there to do. It’s definitely important to show a positive attitude and complete those tasks in the best of your ability and in the most positive manner possible. Even the smallest things can lead to something you love. Great post!

  5. Kaitlyn,

    I enjoyed the link you posted on committing to a project. I like the idea that the goal of a project isn’t to eliminate boundaries but more or less become comfortable with our skills and from there expand our so-called “platform of expressions,” to create unique and individual ideas.

    Being proactive and finding weakness I believe somewhat coincide with one another. I think that by initiating a conversation with your supervisor to discuss what he or she would like to improve shows your willing to put in the extra work and that you can take an initiative. I think these are all really great points and can help make us well-rounded interns. Thank you for providing tips as to how we can earn more responsibility!

  6. Thanks for an insightful post! I believe that the ability to be a proactive worker is closely tied with finding weaknesses. Instead of standing around until someone gives you something to do, it makes a great impression on your supervisor and coworkers if you’re able to offer your assistance to a particular project or idea.

    I think many supervisors view 20-somethings as needing too much direction or asking too many questions they could solve themselves. Therefore, those of us who are able to proactively seek assignments and intuitively offer assistance will stand out above the rest of our peers!

  7. simonemyers says:

    I really enjoyed your post, Kaitlyn!
    Your point on being proactive hit the nail on the head. Not only does reaching out to a co-worker show that you were actively listening and brainstorming during a meeting, it also shows initiative. And you’re being a team player and not just thinking about yourself. Thanks for the great tips!

  8. Thank you for the insightful post! I really liked how your post was so positive I agree that mundane tasks are important to show your commitment to the internship! I also really liked your approach to finding weaknesses in the internship. Instead of saying the social media was weak, you approached it as a learning experience and were able to improve it.

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