By Mark Wilkinson
Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to impress your boss without looking like a brown-nose in front of your co-workers (because nobody likes “that guy”).
It’s all fine to go about your daily work activities as instructed, but there are plenty of ways to go above and beyond and set yourself apart from the rest.
Every job is different and every boss is unique, so we’ve compiled a list of a variety of different tactics designed to help you impress.
1. Know your boss.
It’s hard to impress someone if you don’t know what makes them tick.
So, if you haven’t already, start paying attention to their behaviour, their preferences and their responses to different kinds of scenarios.
You’re looking specifically for things and actions that seem to appeal to and impress them.
For instance, if you see the boss respond positively to a co-worker who stood up to them and challenged their decision, you gain a better sense of what he/she values.
(Just as some bosses really don’t like to be challenged…)
2. Pick up the slack.
If you work in a traditional setting, there are likely to be plenty of opportunities to give a helping hand with random bits and bobs to help the office and team run more smoothly.
These can be specifically related to work tasks, or practical office space things like keeping the proper doors locked/unlocked, refilling printer paper, and keeping things in their proper place.
But you could also volunteer to do other things like running events, helping other teams when they’re behind target or helping organise social events.
Getting stuck in with tasks that aren’t necessarily under your remit (and that may be considered menial at times) will show proactivity, commitment and a willingness to work hard.
It won’t go unnoticed.
3. Own your job.
Regardless of whether it’s your “dream career” or not, you should always be fully invested in the work you’re doing.
Passion is hard to ignore.
Take responsibility to be as knowledgeable about your job as you can, and think critically about ways your industry can be improved.
And if you have a great idea, don’t be afraid to pitch it to your boss!
Make yourself indispensable, show them that it is YOU that they need.
4. Be eager to learn.
It’s common for employees to lose some enthusiasm after a couple of months (or years).
So you can easily set yourself apart by maintaining a hunger for learning beyond what was written on the company’s original job description.
A willingness to learn demonstrates ambition.
5. Be punctual.
Being punctual indicates that you are reliable and that you are passionate about the job and the company you work for.
Seriously, no matter how comfortable you feel at a workplace and even if you know you won’t get in trouble for walking in a bit late, it just makes you look like you don’t really care and are resting on your laurels.
When it comes round to promotions, who do you think the boss will pick?
Not the one always late!
6. Embrace a positive attitude.
Never underestimate the power of a smile and a good, positive attitude.
Avoid taking part in gossip or other negative workplace trivialities and your boss will see you as someone who enhances the office environment.
It’s highly unlikely you’ll get that management promotion if you’re constantly negative.
It just wouldn’t be good for the team atmosphere or productivity.
7. Operate quickly.
The boss is bound to take notice if you are consistently completing your work/reports/emails quickly (but still keeping the quality up), but speed can play into other behaviors as well.
Don’t loiter during bathroom breaks or stroll slowly around the office on your way to the copier or water machine.
Operating at an all-round brusque pace makes you look purposeful and involved.
8. Honesty is the best policy.
Credibility is a really important asset.
Even little lies can snowball quickly and nothing is really worth it if you get caught out (they’ll simply not trust you again).
Where possible (obviously don’t just be rude for the sake of it) stick to the truth.
9. Dress for success.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before… but that’s because it actually is dead important.
Put simply, what you wear will determine your success.
The more professional you look, the more seriously people will take you – and the more they’ll notice you.
And that’s been proven time and time again.
I’m not saying it should be that way… I’m saying that’s the way it is.
10. Think budgets.
If you’re in a place to do so, always think about ways to save your company money!
Profit, after all, is the number one objective of any business.
If you can do this, you’ll make yourself a real asset and are bound to impress your boss.
11. Prove you’re a team player.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of sacrificing coworkers in order to improve your own position.
Resist the temptation! (Even if you work in a really competitive environment).
It actually helps your case more to be supportive of your team and will certainly leave you open to more opportunities (managers have to get on with staff, after all).
Remember, you’re all in it together.
Make effort with your colleagues.
You don’t have to be best friends, but making work friends can really improve your career.
12. Take responsibility.
We mentioned earlier that it’s really important to be honest to your boss and throughout your career.
And the same thing goes for taking responsibility when you make a mistake.
We all make mistakes, but there’s nothing worse than someone who blames other people, makes shoddy excuses and just can’t admit that they’ve done the wrong thing.
Owning up to your mistakes will demonstrate integrity to your boss, as well as bravery.
Even more impressive, instead of taking the problem to your boss, take the problem plus your solution.
People like problem solvers, not problem-starters!
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