How to Impress Your Boss

Three Parts:Do the Job RightLook and Play the PartDevelop the Right People Skills

Impressing your boss can ensure job security and help you move up the corporate ladder. You need to go about it carefully, thoughtfully, and sincerely so that you do not give the impression that you are kissing up to the boss.

Part 1
Do the Job Right

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    Save the company some money. The higher-ups in any company need to cut costs where possible and figure out solutions to financial problems. If you can figure out some practical ideas for saving money and review these ideas with your boss, your interest in the welfare of the company will leave a good impression.[1]
    • When mentioning your ideas, do so in a way that is confident without being pushy. Ask your boss for a few minutes of his or her time in advance instead of expecting your boss to make time for on demand. Explain your idea thoroughly and answer any questions your boss might have. If he or she decides to turn it down, be a good sport about the rejection.
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    Excel where needed. More specifically, take a good look at your boss' skill set and determine what weaknesses your boss has. Improve your own abilities within areas your boss does not excel in and make your skills known in a way that is helpful instead of condescending.
    • At no time should your attitude suggest a sense of superiority. You need to act as though your behavior is purely for your boss' sake and not merely for your own.
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    Show some backbone. It can be a risky move, but if your boss senses that you have enough confidence to be more than a "yes man" or "yes woman," your boss may treat you as someone whose opinion can be trusted.
    • Make sure that your opinions are always well-considered, especially when you disagree with your boss. Just about everyone has an opinion, but if you want to make sure that yours will be treated seriously, you need to take the time and energy to have an informed opinion which adequately considers all aspects of the situation.
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    Perform above and beyond. Master skills and tasks that are not specifically included in your job description when those tasks can assist you and your boss in the workplace.
    • In particular, focus on those tasks that are often overlooked by other employees.[2] Even taking control of small, menial tasks can be important if the productivity of the workplace improves as a result. For instance, when you get to the workplace in the morning, take the initiative to regulate the temperature in the space to normal, start the coffee machine, or start up any other machines that will be required throughout the course of the day.
    • You should also take the initiative to accept formal projects and tasks outside of your original job description. As long as the job is one that you feel confident about handling, taking it on can show your boss just how versatile you are an how eager you are to contribute to the company as much as possible.
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    Speak up about your inabilities. If a certain task is more difficult than your current skills and experiences have prepared you for, come straight out and warn your boss. You should always show an eagerness to learn, but if your current base of knowledge is not as broad as your boss seems to think it is, you need to let him or her know so that potential problems might be avoided down the line.
    • Similarly, you should always be honest about your mistakes after you make them. Never try to push the blame onto others or hide the errors you make in the workplace from your boss.
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    Stay informed about the industry as a whole. Competition can be fierce, and keeping up with the rest of the industry is an important part of a company's survival. When you see news related to your industry, pass it along to your boss and co-workers. Doing so demonstrates the seriousness you have regarding the company's success.
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    Be prepared. Make sure that you are prepared for your job before you show up to work. Any information or resources you need for a meeting should be gathered well before the meeting starts. Additionally, you should consider preparing what you need for the next day before you leave for the day.
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    Ask pertinent questions. This can be particularly beneficial if you are a new employee. Research the company and its mission beforehand so that you have as thorough an understanding as possible. This information will allow you to ask your boss informed questions about the nature of your work and the company as a whole.[3]
    • On the flip side, you want to make sure that you do not ask too many obvious questions. If you ask a question you can easily find the answer to on your own, you could appear as though you lack the drive to research and inform yourself on your own.
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    Take notes. Students take notes so that they can review the material later and better understand it. In the same way, you, as an employee, should also take notes to review later. A great time to do this is at meetings. Doing so lets your boss know that you are paying attention and eager to be as knowledgeable as possible concerning your job.
    • If you are new to the job, you might also want to take notes about daily tasks and responsibilities as you learn them. The act of note-taking may not be noticed, but the results of your efforts will likely be seen.
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    Meet and beat your deadlines. Finish tasks ahead of time whenever possible. If you are asked to set your own deadline, it is better to give a slight overestimate so that you can confidently meet the goal.
    • If you overestimate your deadline, try not to do so in a terribly dramatic way. For instance, if you know that you can get the task done in three days, don't tell your boss that you need three weeks. The fact that you have finished early will still look good, but after a while, your boss may realize that you are grossly overestimating your deadlines and may simply start to assign more suitable deadlines for you.
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    Do not turn assignments down. Even if you feel busy and over-worked already, if your boss hands you an assignment, take it. Rearrange your schedule as needed to complete the work done according to importance. If you are unsure how important a task should be, you can ask your boss for help prioritizing the workload.
    • The exception to this rule, as mentioned previously in this article, is accepting an assignment when you know that you do not have the experience to complete it (especially if there is a deadline). If you come clean with your boss about your lack of experience and he or she still finds you suitable for the job, then you should still consider accepting it.
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    Commit to your commitments.[4] When you say that you will get something done, actually get it done. Few things look worse to a boss than someone who fails to follow or proves to be unreliable.
    • While you should avoid turning down assignments that are offered to you, if you absolutely know that you cannot complete it no matter what you do, be honest and tell your boss. It would be better to turn down the occasional task than it would be to vow that you'll get it done only to let everyone down in the end.
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    Focus. Do the tasks assigned to you and try to avoid doing unrelated tasks at work, like surfing the Internet or catching up on your social media profiles. When you do have down time, do things that improve your image as an employee, like reading books that are related to the job or those that may otherwise keep your mind sharp.

Part 2
Look and Play the Part

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    Come in early and leave late. While the quality of your work matters more than the quantity, spending as few as an extra 15 minutes before and after work can leave your boss with the impression that you are serious and eager to complete the tasks assigned to you.
    • As a general rule, try to beat your boss to the workplace and leave after he or she has already left. This is not always possible, of course, but doing this often enough can leave a good impression and earn you some respect.
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    Keep your desk tidy. Ideally, your workspace should look well-used but organized. You should keep some materials out on the desk to show that you are actively working, but if things look too cluttered or messy, it might appear as though you are too disorganized to be productive.
    • Keep the materials you need out during the day. Tidy everything up before you leave.
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    Dress above the part. More specifically, dress for the job you want, not the job you have. A serious appearance will cause your boss to view you as someone who takes your job seriously.
    • Here's another rule of thumb to consider: unless your workplace policy is already as formal as can be, dress one step above your workplace dress code. If T-shirts and jeans are acceptable, wear a nice polo shirt and khakis. If polo shirts and khakis are acceptable, wear dress slacks and a dress shirt. The exception to this, of course, is if your workplace requires an employee uniform. In that case, keep your uniform neat, clean, and ironed as necessary.
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    Move quickly. When you need to get out of your seat for any reason, you should move from Point A to Point B at a fast pace. Moving around quickly makes it seem as though you are busy, and looking busy will help you look more like a serious employee.

Part 3
Develop the Right People Skills

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    Build a positive relationship with your boss. Interact with your boss on a frequent basis and make sure that those interactions have a positive tone. If your boss can spare the time, you may even consider requesting a 10-minute to 20-minute review session at the end of each week.
    • Accept any criticism your boss dishes out. If your boss criticizes something about the way you work, do not get defensive or upset. Instead, evaluate that criticism and determine if there is some truth behind it. Take any advice your boss gave you on correcting your flaws and put that advice into practice.
    • Pay attention to personal details. You do not need to pry into your boss's personal life, but when personal details are offered, remember them. Periodically mention these details when talking to your boss. Doing so can demonstrate your overall ability to pay attention to the little things.
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    Maintain positive relationships with your co-workers. You need to be on good terms with your co-workers. Get to know them during lunch breaks and other down times. Make sure that you know how they do their jobs so that you can work with them in the future.
    • Be careful about becoming too involved with your co-workers, though. Casual chit-chat that eats into company time looks bad, and if you develop personal relationships with your co-workers, you run the risk of letting personal disagreements ooze into the workplace and disrupt the flow of work life.
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    Give credit to others. If you worked on a project with other coworkers who did a lot of the work, let your boss know how valuable those others were if your boss happens to compliment you on doing the job well.
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    Help others. If a co-worker is having difficulty with his or her work, offer your assistance, especially if the problem deals with an area of expertise you feel comfortable with. Doing this shows both a healthy dose of team spirit as well as a broad knowledge base and skill set.
    • Make sure that you do not gloat or put yourself above others after helping them, though. You need to be helpful and confident, yet also humble.
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    Leave your personal life at home. Emergencies and other serious problems may need to take precedence, but everyday difficulties and sources of stress from your life outside of the workplace should remain outside of the workplace. Show your boss that when you are at work, your are there both physically and mentally.[5]
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    Stay positive. A positive attitude makes a big difference in your own productivity, and it also helps improve workplace morale. If you are consistently positive while on the job, your boss is sure to notice and appreciate it.

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