How to Prove Yourself to Your Boss

Author: Michelle Ioannou, Career Advice

It seems like an easy thing being able to prove yourself to your boss, right? But sometimes, it just isn’t. This is especially hard when you’re the youngest one in the office. It’s not always the easiest to be taken seriously when your boss is old enough to be your parent.

But, you’re there to do a job, and you not only need to do it, but you need to impress your boss as well. Why? You want a promotion. You want him or her to write you a letter of recommendation when you eventually move on. You want to make a good impression.

Always be early
Don’t stroll in 20 minutes late with your Starbucks in your hand. Stroll in ten minutes earlier with your Starbucks in hand instead. Early is on time, on time is late. Get to work a bit early to bang out those emails you need to respond to, ask your boss if there’s anything they need help with, or just to get settled in before the mad rush starts.

Take initiative
Don’t overstep, but don’t be afraid to create your own projects, or ask to take on something that you know needs to be done. You don’t want to sit there twiddling your thumbs until your boss comes to you with a full to-do list that needs to get done by 5p.m. Instead, create your own projects that you know will benefit the company or your department. Make a list of ideas you want to run by your boss. Brainstorm new programs, events, and so on.

Don’t take advantage
If you have an hour for lunch, stick to being gone for under an hour. Don’t turn it into an hour and a half or closer to two hours. If your boss isn’t there for the day, don’t take advantage of this and fool around; things have a way of getting back to your boss. You want to show your boss that you’re there to work, not to take advantage of the bar down the block’s lunch specials.

Ask questions
How can you learn if you’re not asking questions? Ask your boss why they did something. Ask how the company achieved certain milestones or results. Ask your boss how they got to where they are right now. You’re showing that you do want to learn and better yourself — both as an employee of the company and as a young professional.

Be helpful
Ask your boss what projects he or she is working on, and if any help is needed. Ask about future ideas are for your department or company, and see if you can start working on anything to help spearhead those. Show that you’re a reliable worker — one who can handle a strong workload.

Don’t cut out early 
Work until the time you’re supposed to. Don’t try and sneak out a half hour early. Of course, if you do need to leave early, just be honest and let your boss know. Your boss will likely appreciate the honesty, and be entirely okay with you leaving a bit early — especially if you don’t make a habit out of it, and if you get all of your work done first.

Be honest and respectful
Don’t lie to your boss. It truly will just come back to bite you. Be open and honest, especially if it’s about something that’s negatively impacting your work. Additionally, whether or not you like your boss, at the end of the day, they are your superior, and the one who can help pave your future career path. Always be respectful.

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