10 ways to impress your boss in your first week - Part 2
Following on from yesterday’s post, in which we gave you 5 tips to help you make a fantastic first impression in your new workplace and win the approval of your boss, here are 5 more tips that will help you get off to a flying start.
6. Communicate your workload and get stuff done
Often people are nervous to give you too much, too early, but sitting on your hands won’t impress anyone. You need to be proactive and show that you’re eager to work. If you find you’re getting through stuff quickly and are on top of everything, ask your boss if there’s anything else you can help with. Bosses want to be able to trust their staff. There’s no better way to build trust than to show that you can manage your own workload and this will let them know when you’ve got capacity to take on extra tasks.
Conversely bosses absolutely hate when someone has committed to a deadline and it is not met. The key to managing this is to think ahead and flag potential issues early.Bosses prefer you to anticipate a difficult deadline (giving them opportunity to call in reinforcements), rather than having you miss it.
Sometimes it's better to swallow your pride and ask for help, than simply going it alone, which risks you either turning in work that is late or of a poor standard. And remember, the earlier you can flag a potential issue, the more time there is for your boss to solve the problem. And he or she will thank you for it.
7. Solutions not problems
The golden rule of keeping your boss happy, is: “find solutions, not problems”. If you hit a snag, don’t just tell your boss about it, suggest ways to fix it. Even if your solutions aren’t the ones your boss adopts, he or she will appreciate your efforts. If, on the other hand, one of your suggestions is ultimately the one that solves the problem, you’ll boost your value immediately. If you can do this in your first week -- jackpot!
8. Avoid hassling your boss
Bosses tend to be busy. They are thinking about a number of different issues at any given moment. The last thing they need is to be constantly distracted. Rather than calling them, stopping by their office, or emailing them every time you have an issue, idea or response, pool them all together and send it in one email. If you need to talk with them directly, ask them if they have some time for a chat, and cover off everything in the one meeting. It can also be helpful to send them an email with the agenda prior to the meeting, and then sending them a series of action points at the end. If you need to provide progress updates, do so in batches. Your boss will see you as organised, competent and a safe pair of hands that doesn’t need to be advised every step of the way.
9. Own up to mistakes
No boss likes an employee who can’t own up to mistakes.
The most important thing is how you handle failure, accidents or errors in judgement. If you can pick yourself up again quickly and turn the situation around (without passing the buck), they will see you as a problem solver, rather than an issue creator. This is particularly important in your first week, when you’re likely to make plenty of mistakes. The key is not to be overly apologetic. Don’t make it into a big deal if it doesn’t have to be. Own up to it and then rectify it. Sometimes a crisis creates an opportunity, so if you can find one, and you manage to turn a negative situation into a net gain, your boss will love you.
10. Stay behind for Friday drinks
Your colleagues are often the best avenue to your bosses ear. They can act as positive promoters and your boss will generally trust their opinions and assessments as they are the ones likely to have the best insight into your day-to-day performance. It’s amazing what spending a little quality time with your colleagues can do. While you don’t have to be the life of the party, going out and blowing off some steam at the end of the week can do wonders. Not only can it help forge stronger relationships with your colleagues and make you feel like you truly belong, but it helps win their allegiance -- which will help in the long run. But, whatever you do... don’t be the last to leave, and stay in control. In your first week, it’s a good idea to leave earlier than you normally would, and to have an excuse in mind for why you can’t stay longer.