Job descriptions, no matter the position type or responsibilities involved, often close with the common “additional duties as assigned” bullet point. In many cases, you eventually find out that those “additional duties” can end up being more than 50% of your day to day job when it’s all said and done. I’ve worked with many job seekers that look at this as a bad thing or something that gets in the way of them doing their actual job. Because of this, they don’t realize how beneficial these additional tasks and projects can be and how to leverage them either in their current job or when searching for a new position. Let’s take a look at these in a different way to fully understand how important they are when highlighting your skills and strengths.
There’s All These Other Things They Make You Do at Work
This seems to be how a lot of people look at their additional responsibilities. You interview for a job, have a strong understanding of what it will be like and what is expected from you, get the job, and after a while you realize that you’re doing a lot more than what you initially thought you’d be doing. First, this is not something to be upset about. This is a great thing! The more you are given at your job on top of your primary responsibilities, the more you’re trusted and counted on for things. Yes, there are times that people get completely overloaded and it might seem unfair that you’re given more work than someone else, but it’s important to look at the bright side. If you’re truly overwhelmed and given more than you know you can handle, then that’s the time to look at everything you’re doing and talk with your manager about an action plan. Don’t just get frustrated and shut down. The more you’re given, the more confident they are in you and believe you can handle it. Always look at it as a compliment and keep in mind that if you truly are given more than others at work, then you’re also more likely to advance faster than they are.
How Can These Things Benefit You When Searching for a New Job?
I once worked with someone who wanted to look for another job. They mentioned that they want to update their resume, but needed to pull up the job description for their current position to add it to their resume. I didn’t know if they were being serious at first, but after thinking about it, I realized that it’s common for people to think that way when they make or update their resume. The first thing they go to is a list of their primary responsibilities. While it’s important to highlight some of these things on a resume, an employer is looking for more than what they can get reading the same description that you did when you applied for that job. They want to know what you brought to that role and how you added value to the position. What else did you take on as you grew into your role? Have you taken advantage of additional training opportunities? Have you been involved in any special projects or had the opportunity to lead or train others? These are things an employer looks for in a candidate. They don’t just want someone that can do the job as it’s listed in the job description. They want someone who can grow and continue to take on new challenges. One example that I’ve come across many times is people who have worked in restaurants. I’ve seen a lot of people with this experience either not list it on their resume, or just list a very basic description because they don’t feel there’s much to say about it. Their initial reason for this is that it’s either not related to the job they are seeking, or it’s “just” a server job and there’s not much to it to list. Then, after some questioning, I find out that they worked there for several years, were promoted, trained new hires, and many other things that they didn’t think of because it wasn’t listed in their job description. Those few things right there tell an employer that someone is a loyal employee with a solid work history, responsible, coachable, and has leadership skills. These things are HUGE to an employer. An employer can teach you how to do a job, but they can’t teach you to have a work ethic. This can apply to any of the jobs you’ve had. It’s all about highlighting what you’ve done.
Change Your Mindset
That’s really what it all comes down to. Instead of viewing additional responsibilities as things you “have” to do, view them as things you “get” to do.
Not only will it give you a more positive outlook on these additional tasks, but it will allow you to see them as key experiences that you’ll be able to use to better sell yourself in the future. We’ve all heard stories about people that own huge companies that started at the very bottom and worked their way up while learning everything they could. Those are the people that looked at the word “duty” and saw the word “opportunity.”
by Anthony Roberts