Improve your relationship with your manager and watch your career take flight.
Identify your boss’s priorities
It’s no wonder that my colleague and Ladders Founder Marc Cenedella often advises job seekers to ask the hiring manager during an interview, “How do you (Mr. or Ms. Future Boss) get a gold star at the end of the year? How can I best help you do that?” A sure way to win your manager’s praise is to help him earn recognition and thanks from his manager. If you’re uncertain of your boss’s priorities, ask for clarity during your next one-on-one meeting.
Look for opportunities to take initiative and market your value. For example, you can volunteer to present to other groups in the company or mentor a junior colleague on your team. Don’t merely do what’s expected of you – go above and beyond! Your manager will appreciate your initiative and may reward you with opportunities that are more challenging or require you to take on greater responsibility.
Treat your boss as a client
If you’re in the service business, you already know how important it is to anticipate your customers’ needs. Think of your boss as a client and provide the same service. This could be as simple as preparing a report your boss is sure to want for an upcoming management meeting before she has to submit an official request. The longer you work with your boss, the easier it will be to read between the lines and anticipate her needs. If you’re new to a team, befriend a colleague who can help translate your boss’s expectations so you can quickly get up to speed.
Make yourself an asset
Stay current with your industry’s news and latest trends by subscribing to relevant publications and joining associations related to your trade. Attend seminars and other training workshops in and out of the office to boost your skill set and remain up to speed with the latest technologies related to your trade. By bringing this newfound knowledge back to your organization, you are becoming an even more valuable member of the team.
Provide value in unusual ways
Leverage the activities you enjoy outside the office to be a positive influence within your company. For instance, you could organize a team to participate in a local Avon Walk for Breast Cancer®, volunteer to teach a yoga class once a month, or head up a suit drive for Dress for Success®. By demonstrating a vested interest in the company and positively impacting its culture, you’re improving your professional brand – and your boss’ brand by extension – in the workplace.