Have you or your coworkers been asked to do something and the response is “that’s not my job?” It’s understandable as people tend to be overly busy at work these days. This is especially true when management makes staff cuts and expects the existing team members to do more.

It may be in your best interest to make those requests a part of your job. We are in one of the most competitive job environments that we have ever been in. This means that jobs are hard to come by and people to fill spots are plentiful. By taking on more responsibilities, you show management that you are capable of handling extra responsibility and this reduces the chances of being part of any staff reductions. In fact, when cuts happen, managers know you will be there to take up the slack.

But taking on more responsibilities has other subtle benefits. You may learn new skills that you probably would not have done, had you turned away the work. Also, you will set up an environment of good will towards your coworkers by helping take some of their workloads. As long as this is approached in a way that doesn’t look like you’re kissing up to management, coworkers will welcome the gesture.

One of the best ways to set yourself up for a promotion is to start doing the higher level job before you are even given the position. This shows management that you are capable of performing that position. You will likely need to learn some new skills when doing this, but your manager may be able to help you out with that. You also may reduce any animosity felt towards you getting the promotion because fellow coworkers will already see that you are performing the duties of the job. It will seem like a natural progression.

One word of caution is to not take on more than you can handle. There are only so many hours in a workday, and you don’t want to run yourself ragged that you won’t be able to perform any of your tasks. There has to be a point where you will have to limit any new requests that you receive for more work.

There are many benefits to taking on more work if you can handle the extra workload. You will elevate your status among your peers and you will show management that you are capable of bigger aspirations.