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What are the traits of those who rise above the rest? It is not the smartest that typically succeeds. Actually, it is almost never the smartest. It is not good enough to be competent at your job. This will not get you that next promotion. How to impress your boss and stand out is really about social awareness to do the little things that set people apart. Start implementing these critical career work tips and get ready to move ahead of your peers.
10 Easy Ways to Impress the Boss
1. Be a Team Player
It is fine to give your opinion but watch your boss’s body language. If you see crossed arms or other shutdown body language, gracefully stop.
Many cannot handle any disagreement or different opinions from their own. Touchy and stupid…I know.
What you consider to be a healthy debate could easily be considered disrespectful or rude by your boss.
Go see your boss after the meeting. Discuss your concerns behind closed doors, so it does not appear that you are undermining your boss or being negative.
Being considered negative is a career killer at a company.
Get on board even if you disagree. Once management has signed off on a direction, it is time to get on-board. For the sake of your career, be supportive of the direction even if you still don’t disagree.
Nothing says troublemaker more than being perceived as not part of the team.
Goodness knows I supported many directives that were just plain stupid not only as a new employee but also years later as an executive. I mean really, really stupid directives.
2. Do Not Leave Early or Arrive Late
People are judged based on their hours. Sorry, it is true.
I am not a proponent to getting in before the boss and leave after the boss or work Saturdays. However, your boss should not be able to set her clock by your comings and goings.
It suggests that you look at your career as a job and you cannot wait to clock out every day.
People with jobs don’t get promoted. People with careers do.
Even changing your leave time by 30 minutes periodically helps reduce this perception.
Arriving late does not just apply to the workday. It also applies to meetings.
Nothing is more annoying than someone arriving 5 minutes late to a meeting.
The message being sent is you are above everyone else in the room and the meeting is not important. It is extremely disrespectful to the person running the meeting.
This lazy behavior gets back to the boss and impacts promotions and raises. Be on time and impress your boss.
3. Get Involved in Company Programs
How to impress your boss includes showing your commitment to the company. There are many easy ways to get involved.
Remember the people setting these events up are extremely grateful to those who help make it a success.
Many times these people are in Human Resources, a group with tremendous power.
Never underestimate Human Resources. This group can be vicious behind closed doors.
It is simple to help:
- Bring GOOD food to the potluck. It will get people talking about you.
- Help at the Company’s sponsored charity events. It is a great way to network and be seen.
- Offer to be a presenter at Take Your Kid to Work day. Your future boss might just be there with his kid and really appreciate how you made his kid’s day.
- Give to the charity drive. It is more about giving than the amount.
- Go to the Lunch and Learns. Another great way to network and to be seen.
4. Join LinkedIn and Network
Linkedin is the place for professionals to network. You want to look professional. Just remember a few things:
If you attach a picture, make sure your photo makes you look smart and professional. This is your professional network and not your social network.
This is about networking and professional development. Keep any posts to those topics.
Your contacts should not be all your old college drinking buddies. Network with people in your company, customers and others that can help your career long-term. Having a network that your boss can connect to will impress your boss.
If your boss or other superior asks you to connect, do it. You can delete the link later without a note being sent to them. Better yet, ask them to connect before they ask you.
5. Be Respectful and Kind
Remember everyone else in your department likely has the same level of education or higher. Many have more experience.
Bosses hate to deal with internal department crap. Don’t give your co-workers a reason to whine to your boss.
Additionally, be respectful of everyone…even housekeeping.
A good boss will value the opinions of employees that are several layers down in the organization.
I did not share my hourly contacts openly, but the insight from those employees was extremely helpful in evaluating mid-level managers. I was surprised by how many supervisors/managers treated hourly employees like lesser people.
How can you promote anyone who cannot respect all employees?
6. Don’t Gossip or Say Bad Things About the Company
Seriously, this is not kindergarten. Upper management will figure out where the rumors and gossip start and who was involved.
If your co-worker is a gossiper or negative, stay away from them. Even if you don’t agree with their opinion, management will think that you are part of the problem.
7. Take that Promotion to the Crappy Location
The best professional decision I ever made was taking a promotion to run a facility in the Middle of Nowhere. I was not very excited by the location. I was an outsider in a town that did not even have a traffic light.
Later, I found out that it was part of the vetting process. Who was willing to do whatever it takes to help the company?
I cannot recount how many times the CEO mentioned my commitment to the company and willingness to be stationed at that facility for a few years.
8. Take the Job with Travel
Traveling is a grind. After people start their family, most do not want to travel.
How to impress your boss is to take the job with travel.
Help reduce the amount of travel your boss needs to do.
It also is an awesome way to network in the company. There is nothing better than face-to-face time to network.
Traveling throughout the company is also beneficial later in your career as you can understand more clearly the issues at a location since you had seen the location first hand.
9. Get More Education
Keep learning and showing your interest in the business. The boss will take notice and that is a good thing. The opportunities internal and external dramatically improved with education.
Don’t underestimate obtaining certifications. It also shows an interest in the field and makes you more marketable. The company you work for right now may just be a stepping stone to another company.
Having more education is a critical key to opening doors.
Never underestimate the power of investing in yourself.
10. Be Smart with Social Media
Clean up your social media accounts and be super careful regarding who you Like, Follow, Friend, etc.
Better yet, use a different name or just don’t have an account. I am dead serious.
I did not have any social media accounts, except LinkedIn, while I worked for a publicly held company. It just wasn’t worth it.
I was always surprised by what people posted and what got passed around the workplace.
Seeing stupid posts or pictures on social media regarding my employees or potential hires did influence my decision-making process regarding whom to promote and hire.
How can it not?
Nothing is worse for a boss than having Human Resources bring documentation of a star employee doing something stupid on social media.
I could not promote a person to run a multi-million-dollar business if they are doing keg stands during the weekend and proud of that accomplishment.
Be smart. Keep social and business separate.
We all know that impressing the boss is important. Being skilled at your job is not enough. It is about making your boss look good. It is also about making your boss’s job easier.
How to impress your boss and stand out starts with 10 easy to implement actions:
- Be a Team Player
- Do Not Leave Early or Arrive Late
- Get Involved in Company Programs
- Join LinkedIn and Network
- Be Respectful and Kind
- Don’t Gossip or Say Bad Things About the Company
- Take that Promotion to the Crappy Location
- Take the Job with Travel
- Get More Education
- Be Smart with Social Media
You can really get ahead by doing the little stuff. You got this! Now, go and impress your boss and get that promotion you deserve!
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Good Luck, Whippersnapper Finance