I've been working for some months for a very small startup with a bunch of remote employees and interns. I work remotely, mostly doing non scientific research to be published in the company blog.

Manager had a lot of responsibilities, but now has delegated everything to other people. I feel these people are interns or low level employees, but actually I don't know them, I just see they are members of the Slack group.

I want to do other tasks besides what I'm doing now, like content curation. Does it feel unprofessional if I directly ask the CEO about it? I chatted with the CEO only 2 or 3 times, and he seems to be a nice guy. If you feel it is OK, how would you approach it without sounding unprofessional?


Asking for more responsibilities is a very good thing to do, provided you have been covering your existing responsibilities well.

Going to the CEO directly may or may not be a good thing. In general, you should RARELY go more than 2 levels up or down in an organization for anything. Going higher than that can come across as disrespecting your management structure. Going lower than that can make your direct subordinates feel "bypassed" and reduces their authority in their teams.

So if you're a fairly flat organization, and the CEO is just 2 'levels' up, this may be a good idea. If you're a line level employee and there's a VP and a director between your manager and you, then you probably want to talk to your director.


No, it wouldn't be unprofessional. Quite frankly it seems to me that a lot of (maybe even most?) people out there seem to want to reduce the amount of responsibilities they have - somebody going out of their way and actively asking if they can do more for the employer is always a positive.

You could approach the CEO and just straight out that since X is leaving the company, you would be more than willing to take on any additional responsibilities.

Even if they don't have anything for you to do at the moment, they could find additional tasks for you to attempt in the near future.


There is nothing unprofessional about asking for more responsibilities, nor is there anything wrong with asking for duties that will help you shape your career to what you want it to be. In fact, most leaders (the good ones anyway) will be quite happy with you for it. They like employees who take the initiative to develop themselves. Stepping up to volunteer for the tasks your old manager was doing actually makes their job easier; now they don't have to go figure out who is going to do that work.

Be prepared to explain why you are the right person for the task; they will want to make sure you are qualified to do it. But beyond that, there isn't anything special you need to say to ask for this. If the CEO is your next-in-line in your report structure now that your manager is gone, they are the person to ask. Just set up time with them and go for it.

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