Elements To Impress Your Boss and Advance Your Career: Part Two

Relationship building is one of the key components to success.

businessman giving presentation

Let's continue the momentum from part one of my series on impressing your boss with five more things leaders use to evaluate our employees outside of the work product. These things can be the difference between you getting a promotion, projects and/or a great raise.

1. How and If You Take Part in Meetings

If you are only ever the receiver of information, with nothing to offer, you could be seen as a weak link. Many organizations work in teams and collaborations. Your input is as valuable as anyone else's. Do your homework and prepare for meetings. Write down a few thoughts to share. Actively listen to what is being said and interject your thoughts.

Being silent will probably not position you as a true career professional. Get out there and share your thoughts, insights and knowledge.

Think about it. How can you be effective in any role if you don't take part in meetings to share your thoughts or ideas? That thought or idea could be the very one to push the agenda forward.

2. How You Dress

Yes, I know—we are in a world of business casual. But, if you want to be recognized as a professional, I suggest to err more on the side of business than casual. Being too casual can work against you. T-shirts, jeans, baseball caps and sneakers every once in a while is okay, but daily is not. Leave casual for Fridays and even then, kick it up a notch.

If you are always dressed casually, when your boss needs someone to go before a group to make a presentation, they may think twice before choosing you. Even if you have the knowledge, your boss may not be confident in how you would present yourself on behalf of the department.

Even if you dressed up for the opportunity, it might be clear this is not your typical dress. Know how? Because you may appear uncomfortable. Remember, you are not only representing yourself. You are representing your boss as well.

Think about it. You say you want to go further in your career, but the way you dress every day says otherwise. Consider hiring a stylist. It could be one of the best investments you make for your professional success.

3. How You Interact with Others

Relationship building is one of the key components to success. If you are careless in how you interact with others in the workplace, i.e., your team members and management, how can your boss trust your interactions with others?

Case in point: Don't get too comfortable with your co-workers, to the point you ask and say anything to, around and in front of them. Yes, we spend a big part of our day together and can become close. But you must remember, you are co-workers first. The workplace is just that—the workplace. Treat everyone with respect in deed and with your words.

Think about it. If you find yourself rubbing others the wrong way too often by how you interact with them, take a time-out and self-reflect. Start again, and go into those relationships a different way—with professionalism.

4. How You Manage Your Time

Are you always at the office late while your peers go home? Do you take work home? Is it the workload, or is it because you have not sat down to strategize how you will attack your workload? Or have you not put in a full day of work? Instead of working eight hours as paid, did you only work 5.5 because you were socializing instead of working?

While I will not downplay the fact that employers are asking for more with less, what I have found is that many people are wasting time instead of producing results. It's not fair to the employer to request an increase in personnel and/or pay overtime when you know within yourself you have not maximized your efforts from nine to five.

If you make the most of your hours while at work, you can better avoid self-inflicted burnout and stress. Remember, I said "self-inflicted" meaning the situations you create for yourself by mismanaging your time.

Do your part of not adding to your stress level by working to your full potential during your time at work. You will likely feel the effects of your focused productivity and your stress level greatly reduced.

Think about it. If you struggle with time management, there are tons of resources to assist you. Take a time management course on LinkedIn Learning, Coursera or other websites. Or read one of my all-time favorite books, Getting Things Done by David Allen. Trust me, this one can change your work-life.

5. How Well You Follow Directions

This can be an irritant for your boss. If your boss gives instructions, and you do not follow them, it's a problem. Or if your boss gives feedback and coaching to assist in improving your work performance, and you heed for a moment only to return to the same habits, that's a problem. The same goes for not meeting expectations. This hinders the work progress and results of your boss, the team and yourself.

If you want to be successful in your role, follow the expectations set before you. Refer to them often so you stay on track. When you do, you will likely excel in your role. And when you excel in your role, the team excels, your boss excels, their boss excels and so on. When you are part of the resulting success, you can reap the rewards—financially and/or by obtaining various opportunities.

Think about it. Meeting and exceeding expectations by following instructions is not hard to do. Just make up your mind to do it. If you need help, ask a peer who is proficient in this. Learn their tips and implement them. Success is waiting!

Stay tuned for part three coming soon.

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