15 Qualities That Will Impress Your Boss
Every job is different, but most bosses seek the same set of basic characteristics in their employees. You can wipe out some of the stress your manager causes by learning and anticipating her quirks, understanding her expectations, and talking to her about shared goals and needs. Get a head start by making sure you are radiating these attributes in the workplace.
— Additional reporting by Hilary White
It's common to have waves of productivity or days, weeks, and years where we give more of ourselves, but consistency is key. Aim for even output so you don't burn out, and keep your temper directed but professional.
Think of the Big Picture First
Before you get upset and fire off an angry email or get stuck on a nuanced detail of a project, think about the big picture. If you can remedy the problem yourself, do so. If the project doesn't fit with the company's goal in the first place, talk about it with your boss.
Be on the Ball
Prove you are on the ball by showing up for meetings on time, with notes and ideas. Showing you care about the little things like appointments will remind your boss you care about the bigger things, like goal setting, larger projects, and personal growth.
Fact: few people get genuinely excited about extra socializing or out-of-office events, but it is important to show up every once in a while. Prove you care by making an appearance for one drink, a short conversation, or the toast, and then sneak back to your mountain of work or personal engagements. Your boss will remember whether or not you showed but will be too busy to notice when you ducked out.
Whether you are truly qualified or not, you got the job because someone spotted the right skills in you. Prove them right. Put your past experiences, insight, and education to use daily, and be resourceful.
Unhappy in your role? Confused about a project or assignment? Have a bright idea for the entire company or department? Speak up. Talk to your direct manager, teammates, and HR when you have questions, ideas, or concerns. Everyone appreciates clear communication and brainstorming, and the healthiest way to get support is to ask for it.
If a process or project is broken or dysfunctional, fix it! Or talk to someone who can. If you don't, who will?
Lying never helps anyone grow. OK, so it might, but it's not fair. Be honest about your efforts, workload, skills, and needs. Your boss will appreciate your frankness. Who knows, she may be able to help you.
If you said you would do something or were assigned to do something, do it. It's quite simple, really.
There's a reason managers throw around the old "think outside the box" phrase. Creativity is key when it comes to kick-starting your productivity and output. It can help you out of a rut to produce something standout.
Everyone loves feeling loved. You welcome feedback, rewards, and recognition from your boss, and she will do the same. When she sneaks you a small gift, compliment, or helpful tip, thank her in person, in an email, or in a handwritten note. Illustrating how much her effort means to you will encourage her to keep the gratitude coming.
Following up on project completion can be as important as the project itself. Make sure all the right parties know when you've finished a major task. You want credit for your hard work, don't you?
Be a Team Player
It's crucial to speak up for yourself, but don't exclude yourself from your department or unit. Work with your co-workers to meet your common goal.
Have a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Staying on top of your A-game and maintaining a healthy work-life balance can feel like an oxymoron, but it doesn't have to be. Your boss expects you to work diligently and be productive, but she doesn't expect you to live for work. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance will make you a happier person at home and at work. Everyone wins.