Impress my boss? you may exclaim upon reading the headline to this article.
Go out of my way to impress that guy who dumps his work on me, leaves early, steals credit for what I do and makes sure I never get promoted?
Impress that jerk? You have to be kidding me.
Actually, we’re not talking about that guy. If your boss fits the above description, he’s a bad boss (and we suggest looking for a happier job elsewhere).
But we do believe that there are plenty of good bosses out there (and not just in the land of pixies and unicorns) – we’re talking about bosses who do their fair share and more, go to bat for their employees and see that hard work is rewarded.
And those are the bosses we aim to impress.
So, if you have a good boss, it might be worth your while to take a shot at impressing him. It’s good career strategy overall. In the short-term, your boss will see you as someone who has the potential to move ahead in the organisation. And, in the long run, a former boss can prove to be a valuable career resource once you’ve moved on.
1. Do Your Job Well
Show up on time. Attend the meetings you’re supposed to attend. Hit your deadlines. Make sure you excel in the core duties of your position. In general, do what you’re supposed to do. If your boss can’t count on you to do the basics, your chances of impressing him take a nosedive.
2. Take Initiative
But don’t think that just mastering the basics of your job is enough. Make sure your boss knows you’re available – eager, even – to take on additional duties and special projects when possible. The point isn’t to become a dumping ground for extra work – it’s to demonstrate that you are capable of performing at a higher level.
3. Speak Up
This is an area where the bad bosses get separated from the good ones. Bad bosses are annoyed when someone voices a differing opinion. The good ones welcome it. Don’t be shy about speaking up when something doesn’t sound right. But don’t just naysay – always provide alternatives and suggestions. But realise (even if you know you’re right) that it’s the boss’ privilege to make the final decision. Have your say; back it up; and move on.
4. Have Solutions
If you encounter a problem, take some time to figure out how to solve it. Even if the problem is something that you need to report to your boss, you should have a few possible solutions to suggest. Even if your boss chooses a different route, no biggie. It’s showing yourself to be a problem solver that counts.
5. Lend a Hand
You’re up to date on your work and a coworker is in the weeds? Prime time for Pinterest, right? Not quite. Impress your boss by being a team player and offering to help out your beleaguered colleague. This will show that you’re at work to get the work done, whether or not it falls directly under your purview (if a coworker is chronically underperforming, however, it may be time to have a talk with the boss. Hopefully he’ll be receptive because he’s already so impressed by you).
6. Contribute to the Big Picture
Understand how your role fits into the organisation’s big picture – and keep that in mind as you perform your duties day-to-day. Don’t work in a vacuum. Make sure that what you do contributes to the organisation attaining it’s overall goals. In short: Be useful.
7. Take Credit
Don’t be overly modest. When something goes exceptionally well, let your boss know. There’s no shame in highlighting your accomplishments (but remember to give credit to all involved).
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