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Any good recommendations on how I should ask for more work hours and responsibility?

Veteran

Kamran Forghani Laguna Niguel, CA

I am an hourly employee. I was hired part time but I only get 16 hours a week. I would like more hours and more responsiblity but I dont know how to ask. Any suggestions? Thanks

17 August 2016 30 replies Career Advancement

Answers

Advisor

Richard Stamets Skillman, NJ

Hi Kamran - I would first ask for feedback from your manager on your performance. If there's anything you need to work on, I'd correct that first before asking. Then, when you feel your manager likes your work, I would ask for a few minutes of his/her time and ask and explain why you want more time. Just be sure to incorporate value for the company and your manager in your "ask". Best of Luck... Enjoy the beautiful sites of Laguna until you get that full time position!

18 August 2016 Helpful answer

Advisor

Andy Bergin Greenwich, CT

Kamran,

You've received much valuable advice already. All I can add is a simple thought that has benefitted me in my career. Don't sell ideas - sell solutions. Asking for more hours can pose a problem for a manager. Find a problem in your company that you could help solve by working more hours. For example, maybe there's an existing process you could make more efficient if you had a few more hours onsite. Most managers hate problems but they love solutions.

Andy Bergin

6 June 2017 Helpful answer

Advisor

David Akre New York, NY

You answered your own question - ask for more hours and responsibility, and then tell them why you like working there (assuming you do). That's it. Do it today and find out if you should stay there or move on. Best of luck.

5 June 2017 Helpful answer

Advisor

Christine Cox Chatham, MA

Hi Kamran,

Thank you for your service!

Years ago, I had just started a new job in a new company, when one of my newly-acquired employees came to me and asked for a raise. I had only been onboard a few weeks and had lots of fires to put out, but I told him I'd look into it. Since I didn't even know his work background, I interviewed all of the senior managers in the company to better understand his contributions and work quality. It turned out that he was barely contributing at all, and no one had anything good to say about his performance! Ultimately, he ended up getting dismissed rather than promoted. There is a point to my story, and that is you must prove yourself before you ask for more. Show up on time every day, accomplish all of your assigned tasks and perform them well. Be a great employee. This is key! Your work product must be high quality if you want to get noticed. After consistently completing your assigned tasks well and accurately for a period of time, you then can ask to speak with your supervisor at a time that is good for them. Schedule an appointment if you must, because you want their attention. Be prepared with a list of your achievements, and after reviewing those, only then ask if there is more that you might be able to take on. Keep it positive - don't say "I need more hours", but "I really enjoy this job, and I really would like to take on more". If it is at all possible, a good manager will always try to find more ways to utilize a good employee. And be patient, because even if your manager has nothing to offer you today, an opportunity may arise where you are the first person considered for the role. Remember that none of us got to where we are today quickly. There's no skipping rungs on the ladder. Do this particular job well, let them know you are hungry for more, and then wait. If within six months or so you do not see any movement towards expanding your role, you will have to decide if this company is right for you. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

4 June 2017 Helpful answer

Advisor

Diana C. Navratil La Quinta, CA

Hi kamran,

As a Life Coach, My first question to you is... what stops you and holds you back from asking for more responsibility and more hours? If you want more responsibility demonstrate it by speaking up and let the person(S) know how they would benefit by giving you more responsibility. Feel free to contact me.
Diana Cruz Navratil, CPC

19 December 2016 Helpful answer

Advisor

Howard Turk Santa Monica, CA

You've received some solid advice. The only thing I would add is that you might benefit from creating an environment where your employer WANTS to add more hours to what they currently give you. In other words, try to make them want to help you so that they come to you asking if you can take on more rather than you coming to them asking. You can do that by being very clear on their expectations and then being sure you EXCEED them. If you are a star employee, you will be rewarded (assuming your employer is paying attention).

19 December 2016 Helpful answer

Advisor

Jeff McLaughlin Richmond, CA

When I first started in corrections, I was a permanent intermittent employee (pie), meaning I wasn't necessarily full time, and had to fight for 40 hours a week. I found that a lot of pies at my prison refused shifts and complained about not getting the plum positions. Me, I just worked...any shift, back to backs, the worst units...didn't matter. The supervisors quickly realized who they could rely upon and the next permanent position that came up, I got it. Make yourself valuable and pay those dues brother!

19 December 2016 Helpful answer

Advisor

David Eastman Gresham, OR

Kamran,

Thank you for your service. Go Navy!

My son who is 28 is in a similar situation working for a Japanese semiconductor company. He works in quality assurance and has great ideas to improve work flow and result. He also says that the Japanese headquarters company in Japan, in the same line of work, has better systems in place.

Like I am suggesting to you, I suggested to him that he submit a strong list of ideas to his supervisor and their boss to illustrate his commitment to the company, his commitment to quality and improving processes and employee workflow, and that by doing so, he can quickly illustrate what a valued and valuable employee he is.

I think your bosses would be very open to giving you more work and more hours, especially if you illustrate to them how you might improve your current work and add to the companies revenue and value.

I hope this is helpful.

David Eastman, US Navy, Vietnam-Era veteran.

Advisor

Sam Lerner

In order for you to be given more hours you have to make yourself indispensable
If your productivity is high, than an employer wants you around for more of those high performance hours.
Remember to do more and do it well.
Someone who is always asking for more to gets noticed right away
.

Advisor

Jim Starr Saint Louis, MO

Hi Kamran. Thank you for your service! Looking for opportunities within this current role, where you feel your background and experience would add value, may be a good place to begin a discussion around obtaining more responsibility. As others have said, keep the focus of the conversation on what you bring to the table, and that you feel there are opportunities for you to now bring more to the table, for the organization. Don't focus on what's in it for yourself, but rather the enhanced value this change would bring to your organization. Additionally, if you know that you are interested in advancement opportunities with your current organization, that can also serve as a doorway into a larger discussion about taking on more responsibilities, aimed at your professional development. Prepare your discussion points ahead of time, rather than starting an impromptu conversation around this topic. Good luck to you!

Advisor

michael convey Longboat Key, FL

Thanks for doing what you do. I think timing is very important, and to make sure that there is not a lot of stress going on for your boss that day. Once you determine, ask him or her for a minute of their time and ask if you could get some feedback on your performance. Assuming you receive some favorable feedback, I would inquire if there were any opportunities to demonstrate how you can help the company. Review your accomplishments and try to illustrate how the success you enjoyed may become greater with additional opportunities. Be candid about your desire for an expanded role, and how it will mutually reward your employer and yourself.

Mike Convey

Advisor

William Gatling Encino, CA

I have a few concerns with your question. First off are you presently available for and seeking full time positions? Second, what is your concern with making it known that you are fully vested in accepting additional responsibilities and work hours at your current employer? And finally no one can do this for you. You must be your own advocate for what you want at all times through your demeanor and work habits. You cannot expect that it will come to you patiently waiting for your turn because while this is happening someone else has exercised the courage and necessary steps to get what you desired. Remember your military training and the promotional opportunities afforded.

Advisor

Mike Jahrig Richardson, TX

Just ask them. Any good employer would love to have employees ask for more responsibility. If not, you are probably better off somewhere else working for someone who does.

Advisor

Cynthia Tomei Geneva, IL

Hello Kamran,

Thank you for your service. The responses to your question are all very good. I'd add make sure you have a list of contributions you've made to the business when you meet with your supervisor.

Good luck!
Cindy Tomei

Advisor

Venkat Narayanan San Jose, CA

Hi Kamran,

There is plenty of good advice on this thread, I'd encourage you to pick the ones that will work for you. I'd recommend you think about your employer's needs in the following ways.

1. What are the top pain points of your employer? (business is all about problem-solving)
2. Is your employer trying to grow the business?
3. Is your employer trying to gain operational efficiencies?
4. What specifically can you do to help your employer? (assess the relevance of your strengths and weaknesses)
5. Is your employer's business growing, shrinking, or flat? (put on your Sun Tzu hat!)
6. What is your employer's attitude towards you? (positive, negative, or neutral) Why does he/she feel this way about you? (more insight into your relevance, your employer will take your help only if he/she trusts you)

In short, assess your employer's capacity and capability to help you. If he/she does not have the capacity/capability, can you grow it for him/her? Growing the pie is always more powerful than asking for a slice of a static or shrinking pie. Whether you stay or seek opportunities elsewhere, you have to be very clear about the answers to these questions.

Best wishes and thank you for your service!

Advisor

Michael Apt Bend, OR

Hello,

Here are some tactics or strategy to approach the challenge while seeking new responsibilities and full time, rather than part time. They are generalized, if you provide more specifics (industry, function, capacity, etc) I can come up with something for you.

Getting a ...Yes.... when seeking more responsibility is accomplished by showing up daily, on time, every time, when part time, when it is hardest, and do not blend non company things with company job. A person playing Solitaire at work, excepting rarely, tells me they do not want more responsibilities.

If the new responsibility requires new training, get the training first (if negligible cost) so you can maximally uptake any teaching that goes with the new tasks. Nowadays, any job or task or service can be looked up if one has some insight into the job. Beware spin online during your research-search.

To augment this analysis, let's pretend you really, really, want to go full time.

1) Be openly stealthy in discovering what the new employment scene is like, what criteria definitions, for a full time job. Same for new responsibilities. Stealthiness is easily seen as effort to respect the companys values. It can even build sensation, attention, under some conditions. Just try to look good doing it. Don't mix business and pleasure, except for business.

2) Discern or query whom ultimately decides whom is made full time. Assess if their requirements are those you have in abundance.

What is the checklist for migration from part to full time. is it time in service, ability, physical attributes, even favorites, or family preferences? Also, what new responsibilities do you see which can be briefly detailed in a pocket notebook?

4) Take moments between work, just when break starts, writing some detail you may have surmised or heard that day about a full time job detail. A small notebook that fits in your pocket with a pen perhaps. Make it a bit more legible than you need to. (instinct).

5) At some point your new style of writing notes notably (no pun) will cause people to talk about this or that thing you could be doing, not what you are doing. With any luck, someone will confront you or your boss, so you, thinking there was some thought you were unionizing, taking a collection, or mining the clientele list,(if that applies), you simply meet the very person that does the full time hiring for the new responsibilities you see to do, arrange a meet, preferably at your work site or in the officials office.

Optimally, meet where the new responsibilities (site) that are sought by you for work, if practical. You lay down your notebook, show the superior here is what you sketched out, here is where your skills are needed, here is the checklist, and THAT is the machine you're going to be operating near or on.

The idea is your revealing organized enthusiasm to work full time as goal, and the methodology reveals you have simple organizational gifts for accomplishing tasks. While many are playing their day away, you come off all about service and awareness of the situation. Which is what you are.

The Bottom Line.. If you are known to the new people with the new full time, different, more responsibility, job, demonstrate an absolute ability to never be late, never cancel, nor call in to not show, if something comes up, rush right to work afterwards. Cite that ability, have two word phrases, maybe three, ticking off what he knows you are able to do.

Hope this foray into offering a different, varied, plan you can splice and dice for the actual situation works for you. Let me know, and do tell me directly if it helps or does not.

Michael Apt

Advisor

Don Barkman Oak Ridge, TN

16 hours? What are you doing? What are the people who work 24, 32, or 40 hours doing? If you want more hours, you may need to be doing a different set of tasks. Does your boss know you can do what the others are doing? Can you do it? If not, you'll need to get those skills. To the extent you have the chance to help out or fill in when others miss work, you can demonstrate your talents. I'm guessing the firm has set staffing levels and fixed hours per position to control it's labor costs. In that scenario, you have to move to a position that holds more hours, not expect more hours to be added to your position. Good luck!

Advisor

Nicole Winston Eden Prairie, MN

Taking initiative is a great way to start. Approach your management and let them know you want to take a bigger part in helping out the team as a whole and ask if there is anything new that you can learn/be taught, any new job duties they need or want you to do, any ways you can help in other areas/groups/teams/departments that you are not working with right now. Let them know that you are really eager to learn new things (about XYZ) and want to help them meet their team/department/company needs and goals and would love to know how you can do that. Also... unless it is wide open right now, consider opening up your availability wider too. Be proactive about learning and helping them make the team/company run smoother. If all else fails you can always ask that if someone calls in sick they have you on a call list to fill in. :)

Advisor

Mary Sheridan Park Ridge, IL

Hi Kamran! There is certainly some great information here. I would add that company websites or internal websites for employees usually lists the positions open under /careers. While following the great suggestions above especially when it comes to asking/negotiating, it might be in your best interest to keep your eyes open for the full-time positions that the company is posting. I'm also going to recommend that you set up a "kudos" or "great work" folder in your personal computer or through your personal email. Every time you get an email, award, positive mention from someone at work, manager, customer, colleague, etc., save it. These add up over time and can be a good resource to pull examples from for a decision-maker to demonstrate the reasons why you're the best man for the position you want.

Advisor

Bryon Keim Jacksonville, FL

Kamran,
Like you I served only 4 yrs. and my world experience to that point was high school and the military. In both places we were told what to do and not necessarily prepared for life afterwards. I've read all of the responses and all offer good advice although I think James, Michael and Steve were spot on. Ask!

Ask your manager what you need to do in order to get more hours and they should be able to tell you. If they can't tell you, or tell you they can't offer more hours you have a decision to make. Or, if they tell you and you do what they say and still don't get the hours then you're back at the decision point.

The first step is to ask. I've found that in general people are more willing to help someone who shows initiative.

Bryon

Advisor

James Bishop Columbus, OH

Do you see yourself in a career at this place? I imagine if you were hired into a part time role that there could be no option for more than 20 hours (16 allows a buffer of extra time before you hit 20). Still ask the question, "is there an opportunity for more work hours and if so, what would I need to do to quality?" I view this extra time as an opportunity to explore something more meaningful to your career, use that time and keep looking.

Best of luck.

Veteran

Michael Del Vecchio Killingworth, CT

Hi

It's been a while since I returned to the real world, but do remember being somewhat reluctant to ask for greater responsibilities - an artifact of being told what to do in the military. I evolved, you can also - it's easy - just ask, no baloney. If your objectives are not met, move on.

Good luck.

Advisor

Steve Hall Beaverton, OR

This is a bit blunt, but I think you need to hear it. So here it is.....

I marvel at how someone who has 4 years service as a Petty Officer in the US Navy can be so timid.

It's a simple discussion, as other answers have suggested. Start by expressing your interest in more hours and more responsibility, follow up by asking is there anything that is preventing it from happening Leave this second part open ended, do not assume there is any problem with the job you are doing. Do not speak after that question has been presented. Let the silence be there. It's the manager's turn to speak next, so just wait as long as necessary for an answer. I promise you that you will learn something important if you follow this advice.

The ensuing discussion should be simple, straight forward, and honest. If you feel that the organization cannot be simple, straight forward, and honest with you... look for another. One more thing, do you even want to work for this organization long term? You don't say what field this work is in, but it seems like a dead end job from the outside looking in. Why not step it up a notch and get a career or education going.

By the way, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. Excellent sales people learn to ask for the order, recognizing that every no is one step closer to a yes. Just ask. There are books written on both of these topics.

Just ask.

Advisor

Emanuel Carpenter Alpharetta, GA

I know I'm late to the party but I thought it was important to respond. Getting more hours, a raise, a promotion, etc. is all about your personal accomplishments as an employee. You must document every award, kudos, and attaboys you can. If you are attending school to better yourself while you work, be sure to include that as well. Put in all in writing, kind of like a resume. Then schedule a quick chat with your boss and give your boss a copy of the document when you speak.

Truth is, many employers don't care about your personal needs or wants. So don't make it about why you need the hours. Instead, make it about why you've earned the hours.

Every time I have used this strategy, my employer has given me a raise and/or a promotion.

Veteran

Kamran Forghani Laguna Niguel, CA

All- Thank you so much for all the knowledge. I will apply everyone's input. Your knowledge sharing has made be a better person professionally and personally. Have a healthy and joyful weekend.

Advisor

Rob Bedell Santa Monica, CA

Hi Kamran,

First, thank you for your service.

I agree with what has been set previously, so I'll simplify it. First, Richard Stamets is correct on the first thing you should do, get feedback from your manager on your work. If they say you are doing well, then as if there is anything more you can help "take off of their plate". Basically, is there any grunt work that you can do that they don't like doing. This way you are showing that you are an asset. Then as you start to do more work, you can ask if you can have more hours to complete the extra work. If they don't have the capacity, then you need you may need to move on. As stated before, if it doesn't benefit the company to give you more hours, or if they can't afford to, then you should look elsewhere. By looking for a job while you have one, it makes it much easier. Then when you have an offer from another company, your company may find more hours and if not, you can feel good about moving on.

Best of luck. If you need anything else, please let me know.

Advisor

Gail Baccetti Lake Geneva, WI

I'm probably just restating what you've already heard, but keep in mind that your employer doesn't care about your needs and wants. His or her priority is accomplishing his own goals. So you need to be prepared with reasons that you are an exceptional employee. Think of it as preparing for your performance appraisal. What sets you apart? Have you shown particular punctuality and/or dependability? Have you demonstrated leadership qualities? Have you improved a process or procedure? Do you receive good feedback from peers or customers? You will want to present these assets as the reason it will benefit your employer to have you around more often! Good luck!

Advisor

Kate Nolt Glen Mills, PA

Hi Kamran,

First and foremost, please allow me to express my appreciation for your service. Thank you!

Just to add a quick note to the other answers, it may help overall to inform others in your company, rather than ask, that you are available and willing to put in the additional time. Additionally, the skills you possess may be valuable in more than one position within the company. Revisiting your resume, and updating it with skills that you may have, and may not be listed there, may inform your supervisor and owner of the business, of other skills they may not realize you even possess.

You can tell them you updated it so they can see all of the skills you bring to the company. Make sure they realize you did not update it to move on necessarily, but more to emphasize the various places in the company your input could be valuable! Good luck!

All the best,

Kate

Veteran

James Sipprell White Pine, TN

The previous advice is spot on. Most retail outfits will keep you part time all the time. Your chance for more hours will be in the hands of a manager or supervisor to represent you. That relationship has to be sound. Filling in for someone else(you can pre-arrange this with co-workers) each opportunity it comes up is another way to show the mgt. you are a "team" player that can be depended upon. No employer responds to the " I need" approach. You may just have to change employers, however , ask up front what the steps are to go from part to full time work.

Advisor

Sean OShea Palos Heights, IL

Hi Kamran. First of all thank you for your service! Your contribution to making our country amazing - is forever appreciated! Great advice from Angela and Richard. One thing that I've noticed when working with my management is that it's always better to ask for their "advice" instead of asking for their "help". It just changes the mindset of the person you have the "ask" of. Also, as Angela noted, I would make sure that it's even possible for your employer to give you 40 hours/week. If it's not possible, for any number of reasons, you will know and not be frustrated by the hours you do get - and you can quickly start working toward getting a full time position. Best of luck.

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