Making and leaving a positive impression that sits well with your boss is a sure-fire way to steadily move up within a company. Knowing your fundamental duties and acknowledging your own limitations is the ideal way of initially handling any position given to you. But how do you subtly move up the corporate ladder without ruffling too many feathers? How do you stand out in the crowd without being too overbearing? Follow these simple guidelines and you’re sure to leave a lasting impression on your boss.
Honesty is the best policy. Whether you’re speaking to the boss about needing some extra time off work or explaining why a certain project wasn’t complete on time, always be honest. Without your integrity and honesty, your credibility as a valuable and efficient employee and coworker is shot. If you can’t be honest and open about the small, mundane things, how is your boss supposed to move you up trusting that you can handle larger responsibilities. Remember, your boss is a human being, too, and as long as what you are speaking is valid and not jeopardizing the success of the company, then your boss’s response should be fair. Honesty is the key to trust, and trust is the key to earning more responsibility and upward mobility.
Let your voice be heard. If you have an opinion that you think will sit well with the boss or be advantageous to the company, don’t be afraid to let it be known. Your boss will respect the courage it takes to step out on a limb and pitch a good idea. This will help set you apart from the voiceless mass of employees and might even garner you more trust with greater responsibilities. No boss wants a herd of sheep working for them, they want individuals with their own minds and opinions. So speak up. The worst that can happen is that your idea is shot down, but nonetheless, your boss will recognize and appreciate the extra effort that you’ve made.
Always ask questions. If you’ve been given a task and are unclear as to the specifics of what you’re supposed to do, ask away. It’s better to ask questions and gain clarity on an assignment then it is to second-guess everything and, eventually, have to re-do part of a project. This will indicate to your boss that you’re thorough and precise, and will help you complete responsibilities with much more efficiency. Knowing that you won’t handle a project blindly will garner you more trust and respect from your boss and will make you better candidate for potential future promotions.
Take the initiative. Pay attention to the projects unfolding around you and step up if you know there’s something you can contribute. Again, most bosses don’t want a herd of sheep working underneath them; most want individuals with their own opinions who can take the lead and function independently. If there’s something that needs to be done and no one else to do it, step in and get it done. Your boss will notice the little extra time you spend tying up all the loose ends around the workplace. And recognizing that you can function independently and assign your own tasks, while still getting the fundamentals done, will motivate your boss to endow you with more responsibility.
Set your priorities, and don’t be afraid to say no. Sometimes that little extra task is just too much. One person can’t run an entire office. Make sure you always get your primary tasks done before launching into other office ventures. If you’re able to complete your own responsibilities while taking on others great. But if you’ve been trapped with too much, let it be known. Knowing your bosses priorities and what needs to be accomplished first should help give you the courage to say no to a task when it’s not relevant to what’s important. Respectfully inform your boss that your plate is full, and that you’d rather tend to his/her major tasks before attempting to tackle anything else. Your boss will appreciate the fact that you know your limits and that you’ve set your priorities in line with theirs.
Keep your day, desk, and workload organized. If your office space appears disheveled, your boss might assume that you are incapable of staying organized. Organization is the key to efficiency. Outwardly it will make you appear more capable and more responsible, and inwardly, it will help you complete all your tasks and responsibilities in the most timely of manners.
Keep your name and past accomplishments alive. It’s like, toot your own horn, so to speak. When a new assignment pops us, subtly remind your boss of past successes and insure him/her that you would be the most viable candidate to take on this new project. Don’t let your boss forget what you’ve done to help out the company in the past, because he/she might not remember to consider you for upcoming assignments and projects in the future.