How To Impress Your Boss Every Day With These 9 Effective Hacks
If you'd like to snag yourself a raise, move up in your company, or simply score great references for future jobs, then you'll definitely want to know how to impress your boss a little each day. There are big things you can do, like going above and beyond when it comes to completing projects or really pushing yourself to get ahead. But the little things you do each day — as well as the general vibe your project while at work — can certainly add up, too.
Basically, impressing your boss is all about being impressive yourself, coming across as a "team player," and thus getting on your boss's good side. Because "like it or not, your boss is the gatekeeper to your career's future," Jessie West, MEd, of West Coaching and Consulting, tells Bustle. "Not only do they hold the key to promotions and raises in your current job, but their opinion will follow you in the form of a letter of recommendation for your next position."
That doesn't mean you have to suck up, or do things you're unwilling or unable to do. But it does mean you should put your best foot forward each day, take on extra work whenever possible, and radiate a positive, easy-to-work with energy. "Making the extra effort to stay in their good graces can pay off now and later," Jodi Chavez, president of Randstad Professionals and Life Sciences at Randstad US, tells Bustle. So it's all worth it. And, as an added bonus, being a good employee will make your work day better, it'll help improve your work environment, and it'll give you a sense of of a job well done. Here are a few things you should consider doing each day.
1. Ask If There's Anything More You Can Do
If you've completed all your work for the day, and are just sitting around waiting for the clock to run down, that's the perfect moment to get up, find your boss, and ask if there's anything more you can do.
"Make your bosses job as easy as possible and you will get rewarded for that," Hannah Stenson, an HR educator and career strategist, tells Bustle. "Do not be the employee who waits around until they are given a task." But instead, be the kind who wants to stay busy.
This type of "go get 'em" attitude is all sorts of impressive and shows initiative. It also takes extra work off your boss's plate, which they will appreciate in the moment, and remember down the road (when it comes time to offer you a raise).
2. Always Be On Time (Or Even A Little Early)
Strolling into work five minutes late may not seem like a big deal. And hey, maybe it isn't where you work. But nothing screams "I'm on top of my game" quite like being on time every single day.
"Even if you have a flexible schedule, make sure you're never late for work," West says. "Dependability is a huge factor in the workplace. If your boss knows you'll show up when you say you will, you'll become the go-to person for important events and meetings."
3. Be As Positive As Possible
While you don't have to go overboard with a put-on chipper personality (that'll likely start rubbing everyone the wrong way) it's always a good idea to be a force of positivity in your office.
Positivity can include things like greeting your boss with a smile in the morning, happily tackling problems when things go wrong, and even just keeping negative comments to yourself. "Bad vibes have a way of coming back around," West says. "Hurtful gossip can stall a career if it gets back to your boss. Remember what mom said, 'If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.'"
4. Remember Small Personal Anecdotes
Does your boss like to regale you with stories about their weekend, or their personal goals? If so, "listen carefully to your boss’s personal anecdotes and try to remember at least one factoid about them," Jennifer Schwab, an expert on millennial women’s empowerment and Founder of ENTITY, tells Bustle. "This showcases your interpersonal skills."
Plus, it'll be mighty impressive when you can pepper these anecdotes into your office banter, or follow up with her months down the road. As Schwab says, "People will always be impressed when you remember small but important things about themselves and their loved ones."
5. Get To Know Them On A Personal Level
If you work somewhere with an accessible boss, and it feels like it might be beneficial to get to know them on a deeper level, go ahead and do it. "While your first inclination may be to discuss trivial topics like the weather, kids, pets, traffic, etc., go for something more substantial instead, which will ultimately leave a stronger impression," Chavez says.
You can ask them about their family, their weekend plans, etc. But you can also keep it office-y, by discussing work stuff in greater detail, too. As Chavez says, "If you only have a few minutes together, use the time to express curiosity or recognize a success. For example, asking a question about a recent meeting or commenting on a successful project signals to your boss that you are not only focused on work, but committed to growing in your role, as well."
5. Volunteer Enthusiastically
You shouldn't overload yourself with too much work. But if you have spare time, try to volunteer to help out on projects — especially if your boss is looking for a little support.
"Help them out by being the first to raise your hand when an extra opportunity comes up," West says. "Be enthusiastic and dedicated to the project. Not only will you gain valuable experience, but you'll demonstrate to your boss that you're up for new challenges."
6. Do What You'll Say You'll Do
If you say you'll complete a task by a certain date, or send an email, or follow up with your boss about a side project, make sure you do it. "These small actions of following up, completing tasks, etc. will build your credibility with not only your boss, but anyone else you work with," says Stenson. "This can ultimately afford you bigger responsibilities after you have shown you can care for the small ones."
7. Keep Your Phone Safely In Your Pocket
While every office is different, most folks agree that texting and whatnot during work isn't very professional. So if your boss happens to walk by, it'll be super impressive if you're one of the few employees actually working, and not gazing into their phone.
And the same is true in meetings, too. "Show some respect for the people you work with, the clients you meet, or the executive that is in the meeting with you and put down your phone," Stenson says. Give meetings your full attention, take notes, ask questions — and check your phone later.
8. Be Ready To Share Your Goals & Accomplishments
While you might keep a daily to-do list for yourself, it can also come in handy to keep one ready for your boss, in case they ask for an update on what you've been up to.
"Whenever your boss or even boss's boss asks, be ready to share what you've accomplished that day or what you will have accomplished by the end of the day," Jessica Kay, career and lifestyle blogger at Cubicle Chic, tells Bustle. "The worst thing that can happen is you are caught off guard with this question and sound like you haven't been doing much."
9. Become Invested
No matter where you work, or which rung of the ladder you happen to be on, you can project professional vibes, and impress your boss, by caring about the company as if it were your own.
"When you start to become invested in the success of the business, you begin to look at your role in the scope of the bigger picture," Stenson says. "This leads to a greater sense of responsibility and will allow you to impress your boss with the knowledge you have gained and the ideas you have to move the company/department/position forward."
If you care about your current career, and would like to progress, it really will be in your best interest to do little things like these in order to impress your boss. Making an effort to stand out, and thus staying top of mind when it comes time for raises and promotions, will definitely help you get ahead.