Let's face it; when you start a new job, you should expect to do some grunt work.

Although managing details, tactics, paperwork, and administrative tasks aren't fun, they do help you learn your role and, more importantly, support your manager so they can focus on strategic work. 

At some point, though, you're going to be ready for something different. Once you've mastered a task, it's only natural to want more challenging and intellectually stimulating work. 

I'm going to share a lesson that I wished I would have learned earlier -- don't wait for your manager to assign more engaging work; ask for it. 

From a manager's standpoint, they're not going to be in a rush to delegate and distribute work. Delegating takes time, and most would prefer to do it themselves than to go through the painful process of training another -- willingly that is. If you ask, it's a different story. Most are happy to reward the initiative with new projects or at least help you take steps towards increasing your contributions. But, it requires you to broach the topic. 

Asking for different work is tricky. You don't want to sound demanding, but at the same time, you need to communicate that you're ready for additional responsibilities. 

Here are the three steps I took before asking my manager for additional work. 

1. Show that you've mastered your current workload.

Before you talk to your manager about taking on more work, you need to demonstrate that you've mastered your primary responsibilities. No one is going to give you additional tasks if you can't manage the ones you already have. 

When I was hired at my current firm, I was tasked with creating and sustaining an onboarding program for new employees. At the time, the project was big enough to warrant my full attention. As time passed and the work became more familiar though, processes were established, and technology was leveraged to automate many of the fundamental tasks. Now, the onboarding work requires half of the time it used to. 

Work towards stabilizing your current workload, and you would have taken the first step towards gaining more exposure. 

2. Come to the table with specific intentions and recommendations. 

Before you ask for more work, make sure you do your research and draft explicit goals. Educate yourself and come prepared with ideas and suggestions for improvement so that your boss understands your motivation. 

After I spent a few years overseeing onboarding, I realized how vital effective communication, upskilling, and acculturation were to new hire success. To ensure that I had more influence on the candidate experience, I asked for additional work in learning and development, internal communications, and culture change. I now play significant roles in each. 

Don't bury the lede. Whether it's building business knowledge, relevant technical expertise, or merely exposure driven, tell your manager what the endgame is. Once they understand your master plan, they'll be more willing to provide the experience you need to grow and develop. They may even be able to direct you down a path you hadn't considered. 

3. Help them envision the impact. 

If you want to make this a reoccurring thing, then make sure you set up milestones and KPIs (key performance indicators) to prove progress is being made. Doing so demonstrates your focus on delivering results and helps your manager visualize the impact on the business. 

Taking the time to think systematically and conceptualize what results might look like will assure your manager that you've taken this seriously and can be trusted with a larger workload.

We will all reach a point when we're ready for something new. Don't wait for your manager to delegate. Use this three-step process consistently, and you'll build a sustainable model for continued growth.