Other Duties As Assigned

Other Duties | Shanelle Jacobs

You were hired to be a graphic artist, but now you are writing copy. You always wanted to be a teacher when you grew up, but now you are spending more and more time coaching, leading peer teams, and writing curriculum. Many of us are hired for one specific job but end up wearing many hats. The phrase “other duties as assigned” has taken on a life of its own in today’s workforce.

Taking on many roles at your job has both pros and cons. Taking on other responsibilities gives the impression that you’re a team player. You’re not just in it for yourself, but rather for the good of your team or organization. Being open to helping out in areas that aren’t your focus also expands your resume. You may be developing skills that you didn’t have before or are getting the chance to show just how impressive your skill set really is. These other duties are some of the things you’ll need to highlight on your resume or portfolio.

It’s important to keep balance. You don’t want to let your assignment of “other” duties impact your ability to do the job you were hired to do. If it’s starting to be too much, there are ways that you can approach the situation with your supervisor without sounding like you aren’t a team player:

  • Suggest bringing in a coworker to assist you with a project to prevent becoming overworked and overwhelmed.

  • Have a meeting with your supervisor and ask for his or her assistance in prioritizing your duties. Explain that you want to make sure that you’re not just getting your work done, but getting it done well.

  • Take some time to plan. Prioritize your assignments and share this list with your supervisor. Sometimes seeing it all laid out in front of them will be enough of an eye-opener to make him or her realize that you’re being overloaded.

There are very few jobs in which you’re going to only do exactly the thing you were hired to do 100 percent of the time. Be a team player, build your resume, and learn some new skills. It will make you more marketable and it will give you more confidence in branching out into new areas.