One strategy regularly recommended for people seeking a promotion is to take on stretch assignments. Stretch assignments are tasks, projects, or assignments that are (1) outside of your regular job duties; and/or (2) outside of your current knowledge or skill set. These assignments stretch you into new professional territory.
Stretch assignments are a great way to show upper management that you are able and available to take on new responsibilities. A good stretch assignment will allow you to show your leadership skills, develop new skills, and eliminate monotony for an added bonus.
The goal of every stretch assignment is to challenge yourself professionally but it is equally important to be selective in your requests and acceptance. You should turn down any stretch assignment that:
1. Will be mentally, physically, or emotionally overwhelming
2. Leaves little time to complete your regular work
3. Interferes with the quality of your normal duties
4. Doesn’t build your skills or enhance your strengths
5. Doesn’t provide the visibility you desire
A well planned stretch assignment will increase your access, accelerate your growth and help you advance in your career in both the short and long-term.
Tell us about a stretch assignment you’ve completed in the past in the comment section below.
Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career development coaching to college students and job seekers. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors as well as provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible corporate programs.
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