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Sian Thomas

How Can I Take On More Responsibility At Work?

October 2018

Career development usually goes hand-in-hand with increased responsibility. Climbing the career development ladder means often facing bigger demands at each stage. This hypothetical ascent is true of driven bankers, retailers, marketeers and labourers. In fact, it is a maxim that underpins almost all workplaces.

On the surface of course, obligations will differ according to the sector in question. Nobody is expecting a trainee vet to oversee planning applications for instance. That said, there are universal means to prove you are shouldering more in the way of responsibility. One such method is focusing on health and safety.

Indeed, taking a vested interest in the well-being of those around you demonstrates leadership qualities by the bucket load. Many health and safety managers, advisors and directors started their career in a different role and assumed a basic level of safety responsibilities for example as a representative but developed their responsibilities.

Career Development

Taking on health and safety responsibility at work should signal the start of further career development and of course, taking on more responsibility. A career in health and safety demands many core management qualities and skills to effectively carry out your responsibilities. These qualities are relevant and transferable to any management role in any sector.

Not only this, but becoming further qualified in the field will build confidence. Increased knowledge of processes will have an effect on the way you carry and conduct yourself, leading to greater assertiveness.  An understanding on exactly how to isolate an incident and control it thereafter will increase your importance and value to the company.

Those with limited health and safety knowledge wrongly presume the management of incidents is straightforward. Not so. It is easy to forget just how varied hazards can prove, ranging from fire to equipment-based accidents, electrical to transport crises and musculoskeletal to physical and psychological issues. Being the only member of the team to have in depth knowledge on these will prove your value and responsibility even further.

NEBOSH makes a point of covering legal requirements for health and safety. Such worries traditionally plague those in a position of authority but few else. Graduates can buck that trend however and shoulder that extra responsibility themselves. A good MD will not only appreciate the helping hand but recognise it accordingly. Assuming control of health and safety may soon lead to its own promotions and pay-rises.

Taking on more responsibility at work through health and safety is also a means of enhancing communication skills. As dubious as it sounds, saddling yourself with the health and safety of a department or business necessitates some coordination on your part.

There is the distinct possibility you will have to instruct colleagues from a management level down. Exerting such influence will hold you in good stead as you seek to progress through a company. Building connections with influential people is, unquestionably, crucial to personal development. Having established the initial relationship, you can use it to your advantage – asking if you could shadow those in authority and learn from them even further.

Similarly, your skillset will soon develop. To be charged with overseeing health and safety is not simply to clean-up an accident. Those taking the role seriously will appreciate the importance of pre-planning, not to mention evaluations and regular reporting. Handling these demonstrates clear management, sometimes without the title. Leaders emerge and deploying those skills will ensure you do likewise.

In summary, taking an interest in the company’s health and safety efforts will bring confidence, management skills, communication skills and knowledge to name only a few. Ultimately, with these increased skills, your employer will begin to value you to a higher level.

The NEBOSH General Certificate: An Introduction To Health & Safety

At a headline level the NEBOSH General Certificate is designed to give people a better understanding of health and safety processes, effective risk management and give them the skills to take on additional responsibility. Ultimately, it educates them on how to implement those same processes to improve the company performance.

NEBOSH training is very flexible, with learning tailored to the individual and their circumstances. Some opt to be taught in a classroom environment across the space of a fortnight. Others prefer to digest it digitally and will duly undertake 80-120 hours’ worth of learning online.

Accessible to all, no prior knowledge of health and safety is required beforehand, yet the course provides a great way of stepping up and taking on the responsibility of the safety of those around you.

To date, no less than 750,000 people have acquired NEBOSH certification. Significantly, 70% of those are in a managerial capacity, as opposed to one specific to the safety industry itself demonstrating the courses value to all manner of job titles. If you were seeking a job where the safety of others is integral, 90% of employers will expect you to have this qualification.

Further Learning

As touched upon earlier in this article, the learning of health and safety procedures need never stop. Indeed, you can regularly tap into additional resources, attend events and unearth further courses, as you seek to excel further.

Health and safety may not be appear obvious route in which to further your career but there is no doubting its importance, nor the subsequent doors it can open. Make the most of the opportunity.

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