The one relationship you need to invest in at work – this: With your boss. After all, your boss is the person you report to directly and basically holds the key to your current success and future prospects (even beyond, if you need your boss to be a reference one day!) So here are six secrets to get off on a great start with your boss that will pave the way for a great career.
#1 Watch and learn
New at work or got a new boss? Take the time to observe your boss and his or her working style. Some bosses are super hands-on while others may need a little bit of nudging to get things going. Some likes to spend time explaining things while others always seem to be in a hurry and have no time at all. Knowing which one your boss is will give you the leeway in your relationship as you’ll know exactly how to deal with him or her to get the best results.
#2 Communicate how your boss does
Now that you know your boss’s style of working and communicating, it’s time to put it to good use. If your boss is someone who is straightforward, make sure your interactions with him or her is as such – quit the small talk and keep your answers direct. Find out if your boss prefers emails or face-to-face, and use this to communicate. Does your boss need you to constantly keep him updated on work progress? Do this and your boss will have a good impression of you.
#3 Check in regularly
Your boss’s main task is to make sure that work is done – and done correctly. But he or she may be super busy so as an employee, it is up to you to take the initiative to check in with your boss at least once or twice a month. Don’t wait for your boss to prompt you for an update; either send an email or have a quick check to discuss the statue of your current projects (it’s also a good time to present any ideas you have for the future!).
#4 Show initiative
Speaking of initiative, every boss wants a team of motivated and productive employees, not lazy and unenthusiastic people. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas. Show that you’re excited to take on new projects. Offer help whenever needed. All of these will show your boss that you’re interested in growing with the company.
#5 Under-promise, over-deliver
If there is one rule to success at work, it is this: When your boss asks for a delivery date, don’t be too eager to say ASAP when you know you need more time to get it done well. Give a slightly later date and then hand it in much earlier. Not only will your boss be impressed that you delivered results way in advance but this also shows you’re proactive and can manage your workload.
#6 Make your boss look good
Essentially, that’s your number one task: To complete your work, do it well so that in the overall scheme of things, your boss will look good. And when your boss looks good, he or she will be happy. And if they’re happy, you’ll be too.
AND THE BIGGEST DON’T:
Be your boss’s best friend
You don’t need to know about your boss’s personal life and vice versa. So you don’t have to connect via social media, unless it is on a professional basis like on LinkedIn or if your boss’s profiles are public. Even then, wait at least six months before you do so. And if your boss sends you a friend request? Accept it but put your boss on an acquaintance list so that he or she doesn’t see all those photos of you and friends partying or read about your life outside of the office that you’d like to keep private.