Should I ask for additional tasks at my workplace?

Friday July 12 2019

People yawn when they’re tired, but also when they wake from a night’s sleep.

If you take up some part time employment, consider reducing your study hours to ensure your rest and recreational time is not compromised. PHOTO | FILE 

I work as a graphic designer at a local media house. Besides this, I am taking a Masters’ degree course on part-time basis, and I am struggling to pay the tuition fees and meet other expenses. At my work place, there is a shortage of data entry clerks and I am planning to ask the department manager if I can work there during weekends. What do you think?

You seem focused not just on your job, but also on improving your education so as to enhance your competitiveness. I commend you for that. Very often I come across employees who have high expectations on career growth, but fail to invest in improving their competencies and skills. I like that you are exploring other possible opportunities to make ends meet, while the easier choice would have been to postpone your studies as you look for resources. But as you push hard to achieve your career goals, be mindful of burnout. If you push yourself too hard, you could lose it all.

About earning some money from the clerical job, this will depends on the type of contact you have, or on your HR policies. If either allows you to take another internal job in addition to your permanent role, it is OK to speak to your manager. Be careful how you package your request to ensure that you balance between the extended work hours, and your resting time. No employer will be keen to overwork you as this is not only likely to compromise your productivity, but also your wellbeing. If your normal role requires you to work eight hours a day, you could suggest to put in some three extra hours of data entry as you avoid the rush hour. This could be an extra hour in the morning and two in the evening. If your standard work days are Monday to Friday, you could suggest half a day’s work on Saturday. Offering the whole weekend leaves no room for rest and would be rejected. If your employer’s policies do not allow you to take some extra work internally, you could explore other freelancing gigs outside your workplace.

If you take up some part time employment, consider reducing your study hours to ensure your rest and recreational time is not compromised. You’ve not said much about your social life, but be sure not to put too much focus on your work and studies, at the expense of key relationships such as family and friends. We have all come across situations where we work so hard to provide comfortable lives for our families, while what they desire most is for us to spend more time with them. Strike the right balance as you pursue your career aspirations.

Mwikali Muthiani - Managing Partner, MillennialHR