I remember hearing a business expert say that your direct manager is the person you must work hard to impress. You need to get along with fellow employees, and you should treat the higher-ups with respect, but your boss is the individual who has the most influence over your success.
As people move up the corporate ladder, they soon realize that time is scarce. When they are not preparing for a meeting, they are in the meeting. Bosses are inundated with requests, and often have tight deadlines to meet. When their employees fail to deliver work on time or to the requirements, they are the ones who take the heat.
Surprisingly, impressing your boss is much easier than you think. Getting your work done is only part of the equation.
The best employees are those who keep their boss out of trouble.
#1: Master your job.
You must become great at doing your day-to-day activities. Your boss is too busy to handhold you throughout the day. Write down the steps required for your activities, and keep the notes handy. Seek guidance or direction from a mentor instead of going to your boss.
Your direct manager is available to help you resolve problems. At some point, though, you should take care of your own issues. The sooner you become self-sufficient, the sooner your boss will trust you with bigger projects.
#2: Stop complaining.
Managers have little time for petty stuff. They do not want to hear anyone complain about the difficulty of the work, or the long hours required to get it done. Instead, they are interested in employees who jump in and do the work. Bottom line!
Avoid talking negatively about your co-workers. It’s counterproductive, and business professionals have little patience for this practice. It’s much better for you to get everyone working on the same page and focused on completing the requirements.
#3: Finish the work.
Every task or project has a beginning, middle, and end. You can impress your boss by making sure the work gets done. The top employees are those who make sure the deliverable is completed on time, within budget, and to the customer’s satisfaction.
Stick with the assignment. Make sure the customer is happy, and follow-through with the paperwork necessary to terminate the project. Failing to tie the loose ends often leads to administrative headaches, which catch your boss by surprise.
When you are accountable, good things will happen. Avoid thinking that the problem belongs to your department or your organization. It is much better for you to take ownership of the problem, and make sure is gets fixed before it escalates. Your value increases when you limit the number of issues that reach your boss.
Develop a big picture perspective. Think of how your daily actions affect the entire department, and even the organization. Making a positive and long-lasting impression begins by focusing on doing your job well. Once you are good at what you do, you can help prevent problems before they reach your manager. Your boss will appreciate your proactive approach, and will do whatever possible to improve your standing within the organization.