How to Impress Your Boss
Whether you’re starting a new job or just looking to make an impact at your current job, you definitely want to get on your boss’s good side. Your first step is to make sure you are going out of your way to be great at your job. You can then work on developing personality traits that will impress your boss. Finally, go the extra mile and get to know your boss. The personal touch will make you stand out!
Excelling at Your Job
Work hard and complete tasks in a timely manner.Show your boss that you care about your job by putting effort into all of your tasks. Put thought into everything you do, and make sure to fix any mistakes. For example, proofread reports before submitting them.
- Make sure to get everything done on time. Early is even better! If a project doesn't have a hard deadline, ask your boss when they would like your work to be done.
- If you have multiple tasks, prioritize in order of importance. For example, if you're leading a team of people on 1 project, it's probably more important to help them get organized than to work on a solo project that doesn't need your immediate attention.
Be consistent in your attendance.Show your boss that you are dependable by showing up on time. And remember that, to many people, on time is late. Show up early to get a head start on work and make a good impression. For example, if you're due to start work at 8, try getting there at 7:45. That gives you time to stow your lunch and get settled in for the day.
- It's fine to leave at your scheduled time, but notice whether you're always the first to leave. If your co-workers routinely stick around to finish up important tasks, you might consider doing the same.
- Consistently showing up might seem obvious, but it’s also essential.
- Try to limit the days that you call in sick. When possible, arrange for someone to cover your work. This will show your boss that you care about the job that needs to be done.
- Arrange your vacation days as far in advance as possible. Your boss will appreciate the extra time to find someone to fill in for you.
Take initiative on projects.If you want to stand out, it’s not enough to just do the work you are assigned. Be proactive and volunteer for more responsibility. You can also come up with ideas for ways to make improvements.
- If your boss asks for someone to head up a new project, volunteer. Seeking out a leadership role is impressive.
- Maybe your boss is concerned about sales. Take the initiative to come up with a few ideas of how your team could help boost numbers.
Prove you can be trusted.Your boss won’t be impressed if they can’t depend on you. Go out of your way to demonstrate that you can be trusted. If you say that you will do something, make sure to follow through. If you run into a problem, talk to your boss instead of just not finishing the task.
Communicate effectively.You likely need to work with others in order to succeed at your job. Clear communication is key to being effective. Make sure to ask questions if something is not clear. If someone asks you a question, make sure to give a clear and thorough response.
- For example, if your boss assigns you a task and you don’t know how to do it, say, “I’m excited to get to work on this. Can we take a few minutes to go back over your expectations so that I know exactly what you’d like me to do?”
Keep up with advances in the field.Your boss will be impressed if you make an effort to stay current with trends in your profession. Stay up to date by reading publications and attending networking events. You should also follow industry influencers on social media.
- Ask your boss if you can attend a conference that relates to your position. Your desire to learn will be appreciated!
Avoid doing personal things on company time.Focus only on work related tasks when you are at work. This means that you should not make personal calls, send personal emails, or spend time on non-work related social media. Online shopping and reading your favorite blogs are out, too!
- Of course it is okay to take breaks throughout the day, but make sure to respect your company's policies regarding personal use of the internet.
- In many offices, it is appropriate to take an hour for lunch. You can probably also take a short break in the morning for 10 minutes or so to grab coffee and another break in the afternoon. Check with your boss or another team member to find out what's appropriate for your workplace.
Developing Key Characteristics
Express curiosity.Curiosity is a sign of intelligence. It also indicates that you are eager to learn and improve. Work on developing this trait in yourself by simply making an effort to learn as much as possible. Don’t limit yourself to just focusing on your own role.
- Say to your boss, “I know I’m not on that team, but would it be okay if I sit in on the marketing meeting today? I’m really interested to know more about our upcoming strategy.”
- Keep up on new trends and innovations in your field by reading trade publications and following industry leaders.
Ask for constructive criticism.Let your boss know that you are actively looking for ways to improve your performance. Make it a point to regularly ask for feedback. Indicate that you’re not just looking for a pat on the back.
- Try saying, “I know you were happy with the report I turned in last week. But were there any suggestions you have? I’d love to do an even better job next time.”
Look for creative solutions.Your boss will appreciate it if you show that you are able to think outside of the box. When they ask for ideas in a meeting, don’t be afraid to speak up and suggest trying something new.
- You might say, “Let’s look into increasing our online presence. I know we’re a traditional firm, but more and more people are using social media for business purposes.”
- Don't take offense if your boss doesn't take all of your suggestions. Notice what sorts of ideas they respond to, and try to offer other ideas in the future.
Demonstrate gratitude when appropriate.If you have a good relationship with your boss, it’s likely that they’ve done a few favors for you. Make sure to offer a sincere thank you when it feels right. For example, if they let you duck out of a meeting early to take your mom to the doctor, let them know that you appreciate the kindness.
- You don't have to go overboard with your thanks. A simple "I really appreciate your flexibility" will likely be appropriate. You can send an email or stop by their office to say this in person.
Be honest at all times.Nothing is less impressive than lying. Make sure to demonstrate that you are a truthful, trustworthy person. Be upfront with your boss (and others) and don’t ever try to manipulate the truth.
- For example, don’t take credit for work you didn’t do. If your boss mistakenly compliments you for a team member’s work, make sure to say, “I actually didn’t have a hand in that, but I’ll let Beth know how pleased you are.”
Show that you can work well with others.Work on being someone who can cooperate and compromise. Show this by being willing to work on a team. You can also help out co-workers with their tasks, and delegate responsibilities when it is appropriate.
- Don’t whine about others to your boss. If you have a legitimate complaint, of course you should voice it in a professional manner. You might say, "I'm having a little trouble managing Bob. He is routinely late to team meetings, and calls in sick at least once week. Do you have some thoughts on how I can get him to increase productivity?"
- If you're simply annoyed that your co-worker frequently tells you stories about their dog, you probably don't need to bother your boss with that.
Be energetic.Showing up and slogging through the work day is not good enough. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for your job by showing some energy. Be ready to engage with others. You should also be willing to stay late or show up early as necessary.
Conduct yourself professionally at all times.Acting professional means treating others with respect. Use preferred forms of address, and follow office etiquette. This means no texting during meetings or leaving dirty dishes in the communal kitchen. Don't engage in office gossip. If others are gossiping, either change the subject or excuse yourself.
- Similarly, maintain a professional appearance. If your workplace has a dress code, make sure to follow it. Even if they don't, make sure that you look put together whenever you show up for work. Dress appropriately for your industry. Wear clothes that are clean, unwrinkled, and fit well, take care to keep your hair and fingernails neat and clean, and avoid wearing strong cologne or perfume.
Personalizing Your Relationship
Get to know your boss.When you know someone on a more personal level, you can often develop a better working relationship. Try to show an interest in your boss’s life outside of work. For example, if they have to leave early for a child’s event, you could say, “What position is Clara playing on the team this year?”
- Maintain boundaries by avoiding personal questions. For example, you don't need to say, "Are you and your husband planning to have more children?" But showing a basic interest is a great way to get your boss to warm up to you.
Make your boss’s priorities your priorities.You are part of your boss’s team, which means you should be working towards the same goals. If your boss’s number one priority is developing better customer service, make that your priority, too.
- Say things like, “It’s great that you have such a clear focus. How can I help achieve these goals?” Don’t say, “Don’t you think it would be better to focus on HR issues?”
Show loyalty to your boss.Let your boss know that you are on their side. Avoid gossiping about your boss with other team members. You never know who might repeat your words. You can also defend your boss’s plans if anyone else in the company tries to go over your boss’s head.
- Similarly, don't repeat gossip about others to your boss. That might make them think you aren't loyal to others.
QuestionHow can I know what my boss thinks of me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUsually bosses will observe people working in the office, but don't try to worry about it. If you're worrying about how you look or what your boss thinks, it'll effect how you do your work. Just be practical and concentrate on your work, and your boss will see what you're like as a worker.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if my boss starts to ignore me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust continue to do your work to the best of your ability. If you feel like you've done something to displease your boss, ask them about it (discreetly and politely).Thanks!
QuestionHow can I communicate with a boss who doesn't speak English well?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCommunication is key in this kind of working relationships. Talk to your HR department about options for translation services when communication becomes too difficult. You might also try learning a few key phrases of their native language so that you can communicate on some level.Thanks!
To impress your boss, start by arriving to work early, having consistent attendance, and getting all of your projects done on time. You can also stand out by volunteering for more responsibility and seeking leadership roles. For example, if your boss is concerned about sales, take the initiative to come up with ideas on how your team can boost numbers. Additionally, get to know your boss on a personal level by showing interest in their life outside of work. For example, if they’re going to a child’s game, ask something like, “What position is Clara playing on the team?”
- Be sincere. Don’t compliment your boss just for the sake of it. You’ll sound fake, and that’s not impressive.
- Have a healthy work-life balance. You won’t be impressive if you’re run down and stressed all of the time.
- When your boss asks a question you aren't sure about, try saying "I'll find out" instead of "I don't know." Following up with them once you have an answer shows dedication.
Sources and Citations
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