Feeling frustrated at work? Sometimes it’s best to look at your old job in a new light. You could be at the right place for your career, but toiling in the wrong department.
So before you consider handing in your notice, take time to figure out what work you want to be doing and whether it’s possible to do it at your current employer. Where do you see yourself making an impact? How could your current skills translate to a new role? Then, it’s time for the real challenge: explaining to your boss why and how putting you in a new role would positively impact the company.
Below, 12 startup founders from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) provide scenarios in which they would accept a new position proposal from the right employee.
1. Prove Its Value
I am completely open to employees creating their own positions, but there has to be proven value for the company. If an employee approaches me with a plan—how the role will positively affect the company and help us grow, and even which areas he or she thinks need improvement—the inquiry will be considered. If he or she hasn’t prepared proof of the new role’s benefit, I won’t be convinced.
2. Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Don’t try to suddenly stop with your current role and start your new desired role. Do them both, and do them both well. If you abandon your job to focus on the new tasks, your boss will only see your neglect and nothing else. Work overtime and take the risk away from your boss. As soon as you show more value in the new role than the other, your boss will divert resources to encourage this value-add.
3. Demonstrate That There’s a Solid Return on Investment
Your boss is most likely focused on making a return on investment. Figure out what the position will entail and what the investment is on your boss’ part (he or she is most likely paying you for your time). If your desired position has good return on that investment for the business, your boss will be happy to make it happen. If not, figure out how you can make your efforts have good ROI.
4. Introduce a Low-Risk, High-Reward Idea
I’m a sucker for a good idea that requires little investment, especially if the potential upside outweighs the potential downside. It’s important to give employees space to explore new ideas. If you’re constantly shutting them down, they’ll lose passion and give up trying to contribute. I want to be a multiplier who inspires, rather than being a diminisher who squashes exploration.
5. Clearly Articulate the Value
The best thing an employee can do is to clearly articulate the value, both to the organization and to the employee. Both aspects are equally important to me, and yet employees often only address the value to the organization. When employees communicate the value they will get, that shows me their true passion—a big factor in winning me over!
6. Do the Research
As the boss, I don’t want to be responsible for any of the preliminary legwork. If an employee has a clear idea for his next position, then he should have a well-thought-out strategy in terms of execution, responsibilities, and value-added deliverables as well as a reasonable timeline and contingency plans.
7. Provide Data to Support the Request
An employee should do his research and provide data to back up his request. He should be able to show how the position would add value to the company and outline a plan to make it happen.
8. Create a Minimum Viable Position
Great companies celebrate employees who are autonomous and proactive in finding creative ways to push the organization forward. The best way to create a new position is to use the lean approach. Create an MVP (in this case, a Minimum Viable Position) by using some spare time to prove the new post would be profitable and productive if implemented.
9. Be Clear and Straightforward
The vision needs to be very clear in the proposal. I would like to know the details presented in a straightforward manner, like how much money this decision will make or cost the company.
10. Show How it Impacts Growth or Retention
As we continue to scale and grow, there’s not always a clear path in the job ladder. And being defensive about roles and holding on too tightly can hurt the company long term. Keep pushing the envelope and when a new opportunity arises, I’m open to the idea if it doesn’t compromise existing responsibilities. Any new position should tie back to overall growth or retention.
11. Show Me That You’re Ready
As a boss, I will always be hesitant about moving someone into a new role because I do not want them to fail. Employees can significantly increase their chances of getting me on board if they build a strong case, based on prior projects and performance, that shows how they have developed the requisite skills for this new position.
12. Find a Competitor With a Similar Role
If a prospective employee can demonstrate that a company in our space or a tangential space that we aspire to be like has this position among its staff, I am halfway there!