Why You Shouldn’t be Afraid of More Responsibility at Work

February 26th, 2021

Everybody loves getting a promotion, and there’s nothing wrong with taking home a bigger paycheck, especially if it comes with a more impressive title. The move from “associate” to “senior associate” is a celebrated milestone in our culture, and in addition to a roomier budget, it’s nice to give your parents a reason to brag to their friends about your success.

But there’s a catch, of course. Nothing in this life comes for free, and your employer is likely to expect two things from you in exchange for your bump in pay and status: first: more work, and second: a higher level of accountability for your actions and decisions.

At the entry-level, your pay may barely cover the rent. But your boss is there to cover your rear end if you make a mistake or drop the ball, even if the fumble is entirely your fault. As you move up the ladder, the people who surround you and rush in to solve your problems become fewer and farther between…and eventually, they may disappear altogether. That can be scary, especially for a young person with limited skills and experience. Working without guardrails will leave you with fewer opportunities to bounce right back after a mistake, and when you make a poor decision, you may have to face the consequences by yourself.

The Upside to Higher Responsibility

On the bright side, there are huge benefits to accepting new responsibilities, even ones you may not feel ready for—the most important benefit: Growth. Taking on responsibility and accountability beyond your comfort zone is like putting on shoes that are too large for you. They feel awkward and you’ll get a few blisters at first…but you’ll grow into them.

As you start actually to earn the responsibility that you’ve already been granted, those around you will begin to trust you more and more. They’ll start to trust you with business decisions that can impact the comfort, livelihood, financial wellbeing, and even the personal safety of other people. The more you HAVE to do, the more you’ll find you CAN do. And before long, you’ll have a winding stretch of road behind you and a shorter and shorter path ahead toward your goals.

Increasing skill, confidence and experience can start to increase your options. Not just the option to work where and for whom you choose, but the option to move into other roles and even other industries altogether. You’ll be on your way, and you’ll have that first big step to thank. To learn more, reach put to the career development experts at PSU.

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