Not enough to do

I often don't have enough to do in my job, and feel myself stretching out small tasks to fill in the hours of the day - how can I take more on with treading on anyone's toes?
Dear Laurence,
I recently took on what looked like a great role in the learning and development function of an international bank. The organisation is good, and I enjoy the work I do. The problem is that I often don't have enough of it to do, and feel myself stretching out small tasks to fill in the hours of the day.
I am much more used to busy offices and fast-paced roles. How can I take more on without treading on any of my colleagues?

Come work for me! Failing that, it will be up to you to find a project to get stuck into; something that adds value that is not currently being done.
This doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may at first sound. What’s the coolest, new innovative stuff being developed in the Learning and Development space? How can you engineer things so that you and your team are doing more value-added work and less administration?
Or you could be part of HR’s outreach to the wider organisation.
Many HR leaders don’t like to spend money on back office training. That could leave you in a position to put together a series of learning and development modules for HR specifically.
Of course, while you will be the driver, for any of these projects, you will need to have confidence in the character of the HR leader you are reporting to. There is a chance they will take it negatively, in which case my advice would be to consider a move elsewhere.
Laurence Smith is a board-level advisor to With 25 years of working experience in consulting and HR, his career has spanned across different industries and countries, including stints and projects with LG Electronics, GE Capital, McKinsey, the World Bank, and as Managing Director of Learning and Development for DBS Bank.
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