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Wanting more responsibility at work

Doing some simple tasks is a normal part of many jobs. Simple tasks often form part of your induction, as a way of getting to know your new job. But if you feel that your boss is giving you simple tasks because you’re disabled, this could be discrimination. You can try to change things if you feel unchallenged at work.

Looking at your job description

Check your job description. Does this reflect the work your employer is asking you to do? You should be doing the tasks in your job description.

Creating opportunities to use your skills

Getting to know people at work is a good way of finding out about:

  • different kinds of work you could do
  • which people might want help

Show them that you are interested. Ask questions about their work.

Meetings with your manager

If you have regular meetings with your manager, you can discuss how you are getting on. This is a good opportunity for you to talk about how your work can develop. If your work is not reflecting the job description, ask to take on those responsibilities.

How to ask for new responsibilities

Be positive about why you want to do new things at work. You want a challenge. Try to phrase it in a way which makes it clear that you also want to help your team and your manager.

A good manager should be willing to review your objectives and how they relate to your job description.

Here are some examples to help start this conversation with your manager:

“Could I help my colleague with X? I’ve noticed that they’re very busy. I’d like to get the experience!”

“I have been here for 6 months and enjoy working here. I would like to try some different things at work and take on some more responsibility.”

“There’s a project going on that I think is really interesting and I’d love to get involved.”

"Could I work shadow X?"

If you need to be more assertive, you could say:

“When will we next be reviewing my objectives?”

Building your confidence

Draw up a list of your skills and experience. Remind yourself of how much you know and what you have done. Think of times when you have used these skills. Read your list if you need to remember what you have to offer.

Do a SWOT analysis of your strengths and weaknesses

Learning to say ‘no’

Being part of a team sometimes means doing tasks that are not all fun. If you’re working with people in a similar role, you should share responsibility for this type of work. For example, you could say, "Would somebody else take the minutes today?" This is, of course, if taking minutes is not in your job description!

Is it discrimination?

Some people have set ideas about what disabled people can and cannot do at work. If you’re given more simple tasks than your non-disabled colleagues, this could be discrimination. You can challenge discrimination at work.

Discrimination at work

Last reviewed by Scope on: 23/03/2022

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