#CareerConvos: How Can I Impress My Boss?

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

Career navigation is a chess match.

What are some things I can do to stand out and impress my boss?

As a manager of people, there’s the challenge of producing your own work on top of ensuring your team’s deliverables are executed as well. The best thing you can do to impress your boss is to make their job easier. Attentiveness to detail and working with a sense of urgency will make you stand out. Don’t be fooled by the person who is the first in and last out of the office – focus on producing quality work. Once your work is done, talk to your boss and find things to take off their plate. Start learning what your boss does and what the pain points are of the role. When you identify a problem, let your boss know…not just that there’s a problem, but be vocal about your proposed solution. This tells your boss that (1) you’ve identified a problem and (2) you’ve taken time to think through a solution. Suppose your solution is the best one – now the company is putting your ideas into action and you’ve created value beyond the bullet points in your job description.

Why you should make a daily effort to impress your boss.

Impressing your boss brings a number of benefits – recognition, respect in your organization, and increasing your brand awareness. Ideally, you should be setting yourself up to succeed your boss, who is probably targeting his or her next promotion. When you do an exceptional job and your boss sees it, more than likely they will talk about you to their superiors, providing you greater visibility across the organization. These things can be determining factors when assessing performance and deciding who will get the next promotion. You’d be surprised at who is looking at your work product and watching from afar so go the extra mile every single day.

Think about your career - where you are and where you want to be. You may have an idea of what you need to do and it's just a matter of execution for you. Or you may have no idea what is next let alone how to get there. Your manager can be a great resource for having these conversations and getting clarity about your career path. Start by communicating with your manager or even a mentor. Many people take this step but fail to realize this is an ongoing exercise. While the first conversation was great in providing clarity on your next move, it's important to continue these conversations regularly and stay the course. If you're ready to have these discussions with your boss, use this employee-manager worksheet for talking points and to show your boss you are serious about your career.


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