Want New Skills, Responsibility Or Experience? Speak Up!


A few months ago, a good friend of mine approached me about an internal job opportunity within his organization for which he was interested in applying.

He had been a Video Editor within this sports broadcasting company for four years and definitely needed more responsibility, a new challenge and something to give him renewed excitement about the organization and his field.

He was hesitant to apply, as he’d been told that the individuals hiring already had someone in mind for the position and he felt that a fair amount of the job description was out of his skill set, as the job required producing experience.

I encouraged him to apply regardless, as it would show upper management that he was looking to make lateral and/or vertical moves within the organization, that he wanted to be given more leadership opportunities and that he was looking to grow within this field.

Ultimately, there was no harm in applying. His superiors wouldn’t even know he was interested in the position if he didn’t apply, and likely hadn’t considered him as a possibility for the job – not because he wasn’t qualified or capable, but because he hadn’t voiced any interest until this point.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Speak up!

My friend applied for the position and within two days he heard back from the hiring manager for the position. He had an interview three days later and, what do you know? He got the job!

Two weeks later he set off on a month of travelling across Canada filming the fourth season of this station’s signature show. He had new responsibilities, new networking opportunities, and the chance to learn new skills within his field – and he could not have been more pumped to get started!

None of this would have happened if he had settled for the status quo and hadn’t voiced his interest in this exciting new opportunity. He spoke up!

Whether you’re volunteering, have a part-time job, contract position or are employed full-time, it’s important to speak up when you want to:

  • Gain more experience
  • Learn new skills
  • Make a lateral move in your organization
  • Get promoted
  • Be given new opportunities
  • Tackle a specific project
  • Join a project team
  • Be given more responsibility
  • Take on a leadership role

Ways to speak up:

  • Arrange a meeting with your manager/supervisor to discuss your long-term career vision
  • Talk to your boss about ways for you to get more involved in your organization
  • Apply for internal job opportunities
  • Request to be put on certain project teams
  • Tell your boss you are looking for more responsibility or that you want to acquire new skills – be specific!

Think of it this way: it’s more efficient and cost-effective for your employer to teach a new skill to an eager, existing employee than to hire someone new to fill the gap.

You’ll be surprised to see the opportunities that become available to you by showing this initiative, enthusiasm and dedication in your organization. Managers want ambitious people like you on their team and they always want to give you more responsibility. Speak up!

Have you ever spoken up to get new skills, responsibility or experience? Share your techniques in the comments section below!

Photo credit: Howard Lake