Challenging yourself as an employee, no matter what your title, is part of career growth. If you don’t step up to the plate, other people will and you’ll be left in the dust. Don’t think of taking on new projects as taking on extra work with no benefit to you. Taking initiative is one of the most important things employers look for when considering promotions.
However, don’t expect to ever feel “fully ready” to tackle those project management roles, either. You’re going to have to get outside your comfort zone if you want to get noticed. Whether it involves putting together a portfolio, leading a group discussion or giving a presentation to the CEO, it might be scary but it’s worth it. Here are a few signs you’re ready for the big leagues.
1. You’ve been in your fair share of projects as a minion
You shouldn’t sign up to lead the first project you’re involved with, but if you’ve worked on plenty you’ve seen the basic structure. You’re able to lean from the mistakes of others and you’ve had a few dry test runs. If this is your 100th project (or it seems that way) you’re ready for a new role.
2. There’s a promotion coming up
This shouldn’t be your sole reason for volunteering to lead a group, but it can certainly play a role. If there’s a promotion coming up you think you’re suited for, there’s no better way to put your hat in the ring than by showing you’re a leader.
3. The project aligns with your skillsets
Bonus points if these skillsets are something your boss doesn’t know about, such as graphic design or creating a PR database. Show off what you’ve got, even if your skills and talents aren’t usually showcased with your job duties.
4. You’re excited about it
Does the project have aspects that excite you, intrigue you or you’re otherwise passionate about? This is a big sign that you should step up to the plate. You’ll naturally work harder when the subject interests you.
5. Your job has been laying people off
Just like number two, this shouldn’t be the only reason why you sign up to lead but it can be a factor. There will be times when you have to “save” your job and prove yourself, and this might be the ticket to make it happen.