August 27, 2012, 10:39 AM —
I never seem to get the great projects. I feel like I’m always assigned boring tasks that no one else wants to do. What can I do to help my chances of working on the good stuff?
Thanks for sending me your question and I hope my answer is of value to you. I’m going to divide my answers into three distinct steps: a self assessment, observations of others, and a gap analysis.
Before moving to this three step answer, there is one underlying question that you must ask yourself. Are there any projects within your department that you think you would find exciting or do you consider all department projects to be boring and uninteresting? The reason I’m asking you this question up front is that if there are no projects within your department that you find engaging and challenging, perhaps you are working in the wrong place.
Regarding a self assessment, you need to do some soul searching and consider the following questions, and questions like them, to see if you can surmise why you are not getting to work on the projects you would like. When answering these questions, try to be objective, not emotional. The more objectively you answer these questions, the more insight you will gain toward attaining your desired assignments.
1. Why do you think the projects you want are being given to other people?
2. Do you have the right skills to take on these projects?
3. Do you have enough experience to take on these projects?
4. Do you think your boss has confidence that you can complete the tasks? If yes, then why? If no, then why not?
5. Do you think you can do as good a job on the projects as the other people working on your team? If yes, then why? If no, then why not?
6. Have you had a discussion with your manager regarding the types of projects you would like to work on? How did he/she respond to your request? Did he/she give you any specific advice on what to do to position yourself for these projects? If yes, did you follow his/her advice?