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How to Deal with a Change in Responsibility in Your Job

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 28 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Office Responsibility Changes Job

It is not always easy to deal with a change of responsibility in your job - just as you feel like you know what you are supposed to be doing, your boss or line manager decides to move things around.

In order to stay on top of your game and a valued member of the team, you need to be able to adapt to change and utilise the opportunities it brings. The person who gets flustered and complains that 'it's not in my job description' is not the sort of person that companies like.

Another possibility is that the change in responsibility is over and above what you are capable of and you need some advice on how to handle it, so let's look at a few situations with tips on how to handle them.

You've Been Asked to Complete a New Task

If you have been asked to do something new that you feel you are capable of doing and are happy to do it, just get on with it. Don't make a big song and dance out of it or you will look petty and childish. If you are happy to do the task but are not quite sure what to do, ask the person that assigned you the task to explain it to you more thoroughly.

If you are not happy to complete the task because it is outside your remit, ask yourself if you are being too pedantic about your job description and could achieve more by being more flexible. If the task is over and above what is required of you, make sure you say to the person who assigned the task that you are not able t deal with it and perhaps they could either help you with it or assign it to someone else - it may be that they are pushing you too far.

The Structure of the Company is Changing

When the company changes, a good employee will change with it, wherever possible. If you feel like the changes in your organisation do not suit you or your role is developing away from where you would like your career to be heading, then do not feel like you have to stay. If, however, the changes will just take a bit of getting used to but ultimately you still enjoy your job, then stick with it.

Try to get involved in the changes rather than just allow them to happen to - speak to your boss or line manager, ask what's going on, how you can help. Be clear about what is expected of you and deliver it - this behaviour is what gains pay rises and promotions as you will have proved not only your flexibility but also your loyalty and capacity to accept change.

Someone has been Brought in Above or Below You

If your role is changing because there has been a change in personnel, it is important to look at whether or not the changes are beneficial to you. It may be that, once you have given yourself time to get used to the idea, it is good for your career. If, say, someone more junior has been brought in below you and you are less required to complete admin tasks, you can get more involved in other aspects of your job.

If someone has been brought in above you, you may have the opportunity to attend meetings you may not otherwise have. However, they may expect you to run around after them, too - carefully and quietly set some acceptability ground rules and stick to them.

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