You probably won’t find it on a job description or a CV, but one of the most important skills you can learn as an employee is how to make your boss’s working life easier. Endearing yourself to your boss is never a bad thing, but an awareness of what it takes to do her job will also help with your future career development. So what do you need to do to improve your boss’s working life and further your career?
Do your job well
If your boss is spending time correcting your mistakes or chasing you up on incomplete tasks she is left with less time to focus on the bigger picture of the organisation. Getting things right first time will save your boss time and also make you more productive.
Take a proactive work approach by foreseeing obstacles and resolving issues rather than relying on your boss to fix everything. Not having to be spoon fed will leave your boss with a good impression of your capabilities and will improve your own experience and problem solving efficiency.
Support your boss
Volunteering for extra tasks outside your day to day job role will also improve your experience and lighten your boss’s load, as long as you know your own capabilities. However, take care to be organised and not to overstretch yourself otherwise your overall job performance will suffer.
Be loyal and trustworthy
Respecting your boss’s authority, following her advice and admitting mistakes are all essential if you want your boss to trust you. You may shrink away from letting your boss know your errors, but owning up immediately allows you to address problems sooner and learn from your boss’s experience in resolving them. Taking ownership of your mistakes is far better than your boss hearing about them from an irate client!
No boss wants an employee that is constantly missing deadlines or ignoring messages. Being unreliable could cause your boss to miss deadlines too. So stay in contact and keep your boss in the loop, especially if you’re running behind schedule. That way you can work together to get back on track.
Some people find information easier to digest in lists, others prefer spreadsheets. Working using the processes your boss prefers and learning how often she would like progress updates will save her time when reviewing your work and save you from having to re-work the way your information is presented.
Be aware of your boss’s priorities
Be mindful of your boss’s agenda so you can be sure your own projects don’t conflict. Recognising what’s important to your boss will help you to prioritise your tasks and if you align your goals with the goals of your team, you’ll always be focussed on the outcomes that matter most. Achieving common goals will promote good relationships within your team and positivity about the impact of your role.
Keep your boss informed
No boss likes surprises so be sure to keep your boss abreast of issues such as low co-worker morale or client grievances. If you can suggest a solution, like a new coffee machine for the office or a personalised box of chocolates as a client apology gift, even better! And if you are aware of a resource or time saving activity that could help, don’t keep it to yourself!
Appreciate your boss
Finally, have empathy for the difficulties of being in your boss’s shoes and respect her experience. You could learn a great deal!
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