Provisional Blog

How a Stretch Assignment Can Get You Promoted

May 21st, 2013

Looking to take your career to the next level at your current employer? As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, Provisional can tell you that one way to do that is to ask for a “stretch assignment.”

A stretch assignment is simply a project or task you take on that falls outside your typical duties and requires you to step outside your comfort zone and learn new skills. Taking on such an assignment not only helps you grow and develop, but it also sends the message to the higher ups at your company that you’re ready to take on more responsibility in the form of a promotion.

In addition, a stretch assignment can help you advance within your current company, rather than having to look for a new job and switch employers. And if you’re happy in terms of the culture and the work being done, then you have a much better chance of succeeding in an expanded role there than if you made the leap to a totally new organization.

So how do you get a stretch assignment?

If your employer doesn’t formally offer any, then try to create your own opportunity. For instance, are there areas within the company where you’ve noticed inefficiencies or dysfunction? Are there certain projects or tasks your boss is having a hard time with? Once you’ve identified an issue or project you’d like to take on, talk to your boss and suggest how you’d work to rectify the situation.

Some examples of common stretch assignments include:

  • Managing a volunteer or intern
  • Executing a new or important company project
  • Participating in the company’s strategic planning process
  • Turning around a failing project, department or operation
  • Organizing and leading an important company event or meeting

Sure, there’s always a risk when taking on a stretch assignment. For instance, it might not work out like you planned or you may fail at the task. However, if you don’t ever challenge yourself professionally, you won’t develop your leadership abilities and other important skills necessary for career advancement. As a result, your career will eventually grow stagnant.

Want to Promote Yourself to a New Job…and a New Employer?

Let Provisional know. As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, we work with some of the top companies in the area and can match you with opportunities that are a fit for your background, skills, personality and career goals. Contact us today if you’re ready to get started.