Ask any manager what his or her pet peeves are, and the odds are very good that hearing the phrase “That’s not my job!” will land solidly in the Top 5.

As an employee, and presumably, someone who wants to get ahead, it’s a phrase that should never come out of your mouth. If your manager asks you to complete a task that’s outside of your normal job duties, and you could take it on, you should consider doing so. The odds are good that they’re not trying to take advantage of you, but that they believe in you and your skill set. It’s a great way to demonstrate teamwork, to learn new things, and to gain a good understanding of how your organization works as a whole.

All that sounds great, but if you are already at capacity, you shouldn’t be a doormat. Never setting limits in the workplace can lead to burnout or put you in the position to over-promise and under-deliver – and that’s a bad place to be.

So, how can you effectively set limits when your manager asks you to do something you just can’t? Here are five things to consider instead of saying “That’s not my job!”.

Ask for clarification and assistance

If you can’t complete the task because you don’t know enough about it, ask if someone can help you or outline the necessary steps.

Suggest another option to get the task done

Is someone else more appropriate to complete this task? See if they could take things over. Perhaps the task would benefit from some automation or a program that could do it in place of a person? Do some research about different options, and suggest an alternative to your manager.

Confirm priorities

If you already have a lot on your plate, it’s a good idea to ask your manager where this task fits on that list. Make sure they understand that to take on X, you’ll need to devote less time to Y and Z.

Help someone else accomplish the task

Can this task be divvied up between you and someone else? Or, if you are being asking to complete the task because no one else knows how, write a How-To Guide for others to use.

Don’t drop the ball

Whatever you do, don’t just accept the task and then ignore it. Doing that just leads to bigger problems down the road. Experience the HybridChart Advantage. Schedule a live demo and learn more about our Pilot Program today.

Kisha Crofts Author
Kisha Crofts is the Director of Product Management and Implementation at HybridChart. She has worked in medicine for over fifteen years, including roles in EMS, Cardiology, and clinical application management. She lives in Goodyear, Arizona with her family.
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