Developmental Assignments: Five Tips for Making Progress in Your Career While Staying Put

By taking on new assignments in your current position, you can expand your skill set, develop your leadership capabilities and enhance your marketability.

Mar 01, 2007
By Cynthia McCauley

The key to making progress in the workplace and in one’s career is to identify and take on developmental assignments. These are roles and activities that provide opportunities to learn new skills, expand your knowledge base, try new behaviors and improve on weaknesses. Because they usually involve an element of challenge or risk, they stretch you out of your comfort zone. A developmental assignment might lead you to work that is broader in scope than what you are used to, such as a project involving more people or coordinating with groups across the organization.

Developmental assignments can also come from the experience of starting something new, such as a new project or a new product line or championing a change, such as adopting a new technology or restructuring the workflow in your business unit. Taking on a “high stakes” role—one with a tight deadline, pressure from superiors, high visibility and responsibility for critical decisions, such as managing a big technology upgrade—will also take you out of your comfort zone and drive significant learning.



About KappaDiva
Learning Leader Tech Ed Advocate Empassioned Educator Perpetual Student Professional Learner Chief Learning Officer Tonya is a learning leader, instructional design, performance support and multimedia communications professional, with nearly 20 years of experience in healthcare, information systems, instructional design and training, web and creative design, internal and external marketing, PR and communications, social media, service excellence, leadership development and non-profit operations management. She is currently Director, Staff Learning & Development, Teach For America; President, A2ATD; principal and Chief Learning Officer of Kappa Beta Technology & Instruction; grad student at The University of Michigan; and author of the Learning Leader Blog (,) an emerging technologies resource for 21st century educators. She current is living in Macomb County, MI, with her cat and several Mac and iOS devices.

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