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how do I say no to admin duties that are not my job? — Ask a Supervisor


A reader writes:

How do I decline taking up duties outdoors of my fast roles and obligations with out coming off as insubordinate or not a group participant?

I work in a subject the place it’s fairly customary to tackle some administrative burdens along with our core obligations. Nevertheless, in my expertise, these duties appear to be disproportionately allotted to ladies. I’m eight years into my profession path, higher center administration, with a complicated diploma in a technical specialty. I began a brand new position final yr that was a big step up in each seniority and pay. I felt like I had lastly achieved one thing. Then, a number of months after I began, our division admin unexpectedly resigned. My (feminine) supervisor’s supervisor proceeded to divvy up her obligations amongst me and the opposite managers at my tier. Being new and a folks pleaser, I after all stepped as much as the plate and took on the additional work with a smile. This went on for a number of months till we had been lastly capable of finding a substitute. In hindsight, I notice that I used to be assigned probably the most demanding, time consuming, and asinine duties. And naturally now that I’m an professional on these duties, any time our admin is out, you guessed it, I’ve to fill in for her.

Having mirrored on my earlier work experiences, I notice that this can be a sample for me. I do such an amazing job at these menial duties that I develop into the purpose particular person for admin work. In my earlier roles, I didn’t really feel like I might say something as a result of I wasn’t senior sufficient, however now that I’m, I don’t know how one can put my foot down and say “respectfully, no.” I’m about to start out on the lookout for a brand new place and I wish to ensure that I don’t fall into the identical sample and set the tone for the entire expertise. On the finish of the day, I’m being employed for my technical background and experience … to not be a glorified administrative assistant. How do I respectfully decline requests for admin help after they’re coming from my superiors (versus my friends)? One work-around that I’ve discovered to date is delegating the work to somebody extra junior below the guise {of professional} improvement – I nonetheless need to be concerned and make investments my time, however not less than I’m not caught with nearly all of the work. On this most up-to-date job, although, this wasn’t an choice.

I don’t thoughts doing my justifiable share, however I additionally wish to focus my effort and time on my precise job. I do know that this problem will proceed to return up so long as I keep on this business.

You may learn my reply to this letter at New York Journal in the present day. Head over there to learn it.




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