09 Apr 2009
How can I convince my boss to give me work that will help me meet my PER goals?
Focus not just on your needs but on those of your employer too. How might your boss or the organisation benefit if you are given the experience you want?
Volunteering for project work (as others shrink into the background) is a useful way to gain exposure to tasks you might otherwise not be given. Be positive about the extra time - think how much closer you'll be to meeting your goals.
Another tactic is to simply take work on without waiting to be asked. If you are aware that your boss has been asked for a particular report, why not gather the information that’s needed? Better still, draft the report. Your boss may regard it as beyond your ability, or that it would be unfair to ask you. But presenting a fait accompli could earn you extra credibility, or reward you responsibility in the future.
More formal strategies need not involve your boss's input. Which of your colleagues might be open to being shadowed in action? It's a short‑sighted manager who wouldn't see the benefit to the team of helping upskill a keen member of staff. And as people usually like sharing their knowledge, coaching needn’t be a 'big ask'.
Job rotations and secondments require more planning ahead but don't rule them out, particularly if people are on maternity leave or other long-term absences.
Once your boss has been persuaded that it's in his interest to give you additional tasks that will help you meet your initial performance objectives, it will become much easier to plough through the remaining competencies you need to demonstrate.
Only go to his boss as a last resort - it really is counter-productive as a regular tactic. If your supervisor really is afraid of you coming up through the ranks, your boss should shortly recognise your ability - if he doesn't already.