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When to Say No to Additional Responsibilities?


In order to remain a relevant part of today’s business world we have to constantly prove that we are good at what we do and we have the potential to get even better. One of the best ways to show your bosses or seniors that you are someone with a lot of potential is by responsibly handling tasks that are entrusted to you and even taking up additional responsibility when you can. However sometimes you just cannot do it all and given here is a list of times when you ought to put your foot down and say no to additional responsibilities because it is just too much to handle.

say no to additional responsibilities17 Times You Should Say No to Additional Responsibilities at Work:

1. When you find that it is only you doing all the work:

If you take a look around your office and find that everyone is having a gala time talking and chatting and it is only you who is doing all the important work, then you should not shy away from saying ‘no’ to more additional responsibility. Sometimes it happens that once you start taking up responsibility people merely assume that you will continue to take on more and more work, but you must stand up for yourself and put your foot down when you think that it is unfair and you need not do anything more than you are already doing at a given time.

2. When you do not receive recognition for your hard work:

Being slighted or never receiving the promotions which you ought to receive is something which you should never take sitting down. Bosses in the corporate world do not like those employees who make a big show of the smallest tasks which they handle or those employees who constantly seek approval, yet if you feel that you have genuinely worked hard and that no one gives you the recognition which you deserve then you ought not to take up even more responsibility as it is not worth it, rather you can try seeking employment elsewhere.

3. When you feel like you are being over worked and under paid:

The feeling of being over worked and under paid is one of the worst feelings. No good and reputed company would ever let their employees feel cheated in this way, rather they would look into all the needs of their employees to ensure that they are not discontent and demoralized in any way. Taking on an additional is a futile exercise if you are not going to be happy when doing the task. In this day and age money is an important thing and no good company is so badly off that they cannot afford to pay their workers properly.

4. When you have enough on your plate:

If you are someone who always says yes to additional responsibility then you probably have enough on your plate already. However there will come a time when you need to learn to put your foot down and say no to additional responsibility. At the end of the day no one is going to remember the person who has the most on his plate, rather everyone will remember that person who did the tasks best. So you should always strive to be the latter person and that is the kind of individual that slowly but surely climbs the ladder of success with hard work and effort.

5. Say no when the job was not actually entrusted to you:

If for example at the board meeting the job was entrusted to someone else and he or she agreed to take up the task, but as soon as the meeting is over , he or she comes and tells you to please do the task, then you ought to say ‘no’. The business world is a cut throat one indeed and you have to ensure that you have your head on your shoulders at all times so that you are not taken for a ride by anyone.

6. When the task is not in your field of expertise:

Once you hear a summary of what the responsibility entails and realize that this is not something which you are an expert at then you ought not to take up the responsibility as learning how to carry out the responsibility will just take too much time as well as effort which is really not that worth it. Sometimes it is okay to learn new things, however at the same time it is even more important to get better than the things which you are already good at so that you can really be an expert in your own right rather than just being a ‘Jack of all trades and master of none’.

7. When you think that you will not be able to do the task well:

If you know for a fact that you will not be able to carry out the responsibility well for any number of reasons then you should not shy away from declining the offer. Many people believe that when they are declining such offers they are actually showing themselves to be weak, however this is not true at all, there is some truth in the common saying that honesty is the best policy and rather than giving up mid way or not being able to do the job well, it is better to say ‘no’ right from the beginning to avoid getting a bad name.

8. When you believe that the responsibility will not enrich you:

One of the chief reasons why people take up additional responsibility is because they think that it will benefit them and they will learn something from this experience. However if you think that this task will not be able to enrich you in anyway then you ought to say no to it at the very on set. If an additional responsibility does not help you develop your skills, your talents or your abilities in general then maybe it is not the kind of thing you should be bothering yourself with, rather do something that can help you in the long run.

9. Say ‘no’ when you think that you ought to give the chance to someone else:

If you think that you have had your time to show case your talent and show how good you are at multi tasking then maybe you ought to give the chance to someone else who is relatively new to the field and has never really been given the opportunity to shine. In the business world there is going to be a lot of competition and you ought to prepare yourself for that. You should try to do your best and if you give your one hundred percent at all times you will be noticed and success will come to you.

10. When the responsibility does not expand your network in any way:

In addition to not helping to enrich your skills and abilities, if you find that the task is not helping to broaden your horizons by helping you interact and get to know new people then it is surely not worth your while. In the business world you need to meet new people and build your network as well as contacts. You should only under take the responsibility of those tasks where you think that you will be able to gain the maximum amount of exposure and experience.

11. When you think that you need time to get used to what responsibility you have:

In the event of just having been given a set of responsibilities, you will take time to learn how to deal with them and in this course if you are entrusted with even more responsibility then this could really throw you off guard and leave you feeling completely lost. You should make it a point to do all your primary responsibilities completely well before you take on anything more. Once you have mastered your responsibility you will easily be able to take on something more and show your ability.

12. When you find the responsibility is taking a toll on your health:

If you believe that taking up the additional responsibility will be equivalent to a burden to you then you should say no to it, especially because if you are over burdened then it will certainly take a toll on you both physical, mentally as well as emotionally. Careers are important to everyone in this day and age, yet you should not make it the be all and end all of your life, otherwise you will surely come in for serious problems like stress or other ailments like high blood pressure or even something worse like heart disease.

13. When you think the responsibility will take a toll on your personal life:

Maintain a good work life balance is something that is very important indeed but it is something that many of us do not take seriously at all. If you want to live a happy life then you should make a clear demarcation between your professional as well as your personal life. Remember both are equally important and your work should not usurp upon your family time. If your additional responsibility will take up a lot of your time on weekends or time with family then you should certainly say no to it.

14. When you believe that you prefer to focus on one thing at a time:

If you are someone who cannot multi task as you prefer to focus on one thing at a time, then you should be bold and say it, rather than taking up something which you are absolutely not comfortable doing .

15. When you have already proved that you can multi task:

If you are someone who has been a part of the company a long time and you need not prove that you are responsible and can handle a number of responsibilities simultaneously then you need not take up the additional responsibility to prove your worth and ability. .

16. Say ‘no’ when you know that you were asked when everyone turned it down:

You should never take up an additional responsibility if you know that you were one of the last few people who it was offered to, after everyone else declined the offer. You should always try your best to maintain your dignity at the work place, as if you do not respect yourself no one will respect you.

17. If the responsibility does not excite you:

If you notice that the responsibility is not something which you are interested in taking up because the task does not excite you in any way then you should not hesitate before saying ‘no’. You cannot give your best if the task does not challenge you.

So these are some of the times when it is okay to say no to additional responsibility, rather than taking up a task and not being able to do well, or giving up mid way. Be sure to decline the offer with grace and dignity so that you do not end up being rude to anyone. There is no shame in admitting that you already have too much work to do anyway. Bosses and seniors appreciate it greatly when employees are honest with them rather than just taking up tasks and responsibilities for the sake of trying to make a good impression.