So, diagnosis you’re trying to get ahead at work. You work hard, play nice with others, and stay until the job is done. And all that’s great! But sometimes it takes a little extra something to impress a boss, especially if you have one of those bosses that’s too busy to take a lunch break, let alone to notice your latest achievements. To address this issue, we’ve put together our top 3 creative strategies for snagging your boss’ attention—and hopefully, praise.
1. Be Willing to Learn…On Your OwnWhether you’ve just grabbed yourself a new title or you’ve been in the same position for years, it’s important to demonstrate just how willing you are to adapt and learn based on the changing needs of your organization, team and role. Chances are, you already do this in subtle ways just to survive and thrive in your job, but always be on the lookout for ways to take it up to another level. You could, for example, enroll in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to master a new skillset that’s sorely needed within your team. How impressed will your bosses be when they learn you went out on your own and learned Quantum Mechanics from MIT in your spare time? (A simpler course in key business practices will also be impressive). Alternatively, buying your team a subscription to The Wall Street Journal or Wiredwill be both impressive and helpful, as will a night of research on a key issue jamming your team’s workflow. The key here is to identify gaps in your knowledge and fill them as eagerly as possible, rather than letting yourself stagnate.
2. Get the Right Gear
While it’s really up to your company to supply you with the best office products, your bosses will be impressed if you take a little initiative in making your workspace more comfortable for you. Doing so can prove just how committed you are to putting in a full day’s work (if not more) and ensuring the longevity of your working relationship. Doing so doesn’t require spending a zillion dollars on the perfect chair. Instead, keep it simple with an ergonomic keyboard, which looks high tech, decreases the likelihood of eventual worker’s compensation claims, and is likely to entice your coworkers to do the same, thereby spreading the benefits widely. Taking the time to decorate your office can have a similar effect, and simply keeping your space neat and tidy will show that you care about your surroundings and the environment in which your team must operate.
3. Make Them Look Good
Of course, when you do great work, it’s important to receive credit where credit is due. But you can also really benefit from stepping aside now and again to let your managers simply look good, without getting down into the nitty gritty of who did what. If you’ve got good bosses, they’ll know what you’ve done for her and will reward you properly in time; and if you don’t, it’s time to change teams anyway. To do this, it’s important that you pay just as much attention to the demands placed on your bosses as you do to those they’re placing on you. Do they have a weekly strategy meeting with their own bosses, in which they need to present new ideas for the week? Give them a few innovative and creative suggestions so they can knock it out of the park. Do they need to present regular monthly progress reports? Have a detailed listing of your team’s accomplishments and activities ready to go. The idea here is to get out in front of your boss’ task list and start working away. Impressing your bosses can be a cinch, just as long as you take the time to get to know how she works and what she needs. There are many more ways to impress your bosses than just this. Start brainstorming, and let us know your strategies in the comments below!
Leah Kaminsky is a writer and the founder of Just Start Storytelling, a company that helps businesses, college and graduate school applicants and individuals tell their authentic stories online. When not working on her fiction writing, you can find her jogging with a dorky pastel visor on (hey, a girl has to protect her face). You can follow her at @JustStartApps.