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How to impress your boss

It would be nice if we lived in a world where our bosses judged us solely by the quality and quantity of our work. However, the reality is that personal impressions are very important. We all want to get in good with the powers that be -- especially our bosses. But many times, we take the route of sucking up or throwing team members under the bus to make ourselves look like the star. Believe it or not, you don't have to be so devious to get your boss to notice you. For some employers, it just comes down to working "smart." You go through life trying to seek approval from your superiors. You constantly want to please your parents with good grades, impress your coaches on the field and wow your professors in the classroom. And as an adult, you want to win over your boss at work.

The ability to impress your boss is a major determining factor in your success, as well as your happiness and productivity at work.

1. Get an Early Win

Consider ways you can build momentum right away. Try to identify an immediate contribution you can make to the team. People who do this generate a positive perception and have a long-term winner within the company. When a news story covers your industry, clip the article and e-mail a scan of it to everyone on your team, boss included. Showing that you're aware of your business' place in the larger world shows you have your eye on the big picture

2. Be a part of a team

Whether it is about turning away unnecessary workload for your team or about getting a larger chunk of the resources or more benefits for your people, showing that you care enough to act on their behalf would earn you valuable points as a leader. And in return, your staff would prefer to remain under your care and supervision and will deliver and perform better.

3. Be proactive

Yes, this is a popular buzzword, but there really is value in suggesting something yourself before your boss does. Coming up with your own ideas and assignments establishes yourself as someone who is interested in promoting the interests of the company even when not being required to

4. Take initiative on assignments outside your scope.

If offered the opportunity to work on a project outside your job description, take it. Surprised by your penchant for quick learning and versatility as a worker, your boss may start pondering your potential in a management role. Plus, if you have your sights set on a senior position, you'll need to know how the entire organization functions, not just your department, if you want to get into leadership.

5. Keep a Clean work space

Basically, you want your space to look worked in: not too cluttered, but not totally bare. If you have no paper on your desk, it doesn't look like you're working. But if you have no desk visible under all that paper, it doesn't look like you're working either. Why is your work piling up on you like that? Well, if the stuff you have out is that important, it's worth having it organized and usable. Put your filing cabinet to work or, if it's really bad, look into getting a document scanner and digitizing your files.

6. Put in the Extra Hours

If you want to impress your boss, get to the office early. Showing up late for an entire week will cast doubt on your claim and cause your boss to question your dependability. So make sure to get to the office on time. If possible, stay a little late. Nobody's asking you to stay an extra four hours. In fact, don't do that as it can actually make it look like you're falling behind or not managing your time correctly.

7. Have an informed opinion

There are a lot of things that need to be learned on the job, but some things can be learned by reading and researching at home. When you will ask your boss what you should be reading to get up to speed, he knows that person is devoted to adding value from day one. Having an opinion is the most common thing in the world in business, but having an informed opinion is depressingly rare. If you take the time to develop a viewpoint, you should also share it when it's appropriate. A great way to share your opinion with your boss is when you're having a one-on-one discussion about something, say these magic words: "I disagree."

8. Come with questions

Make a list of possible questions that not only touch on your responsibilities, but also what the boss expects of the team as a whole and his or her vision for the organization. Gaining such information allows you to be on the same page with your supervisor and work toward a shared goal. Take notes whenever possible. This studious approach can shorten the learning curve and keep you from having to ask about something only hours or days later, which can make you look inattentive.

9. Dress Up

Look at what the boys on the next rung of the ladder are wearing, and dress like that. Even if you're not trying to get promoted, but just want to expand the job you have, dressing well and grooming properly is a nice way to do it. You want to give the impression you're pleased to be at work and take it seriously.

10. Admit your mistakes

We make mistakes from time to time, that’s how we learn. Any decent boss will recognize this as a way of life, and will value your honesty and integrity over your ability to fess up and admit that you screwed up. Everyone can make mistakes but not everyone dare admit that they did. Your boss may actually be happier to know that he has an employee who takes responsibility for their actions even if you feel that you have let them down.

If you are looking to impress your boss, then make sure you put on your best behavior for your people to follow. Following these suggestions will help you to improve your standing with your supervisor, whether they are actually concerned with your performance, or just notice if you appear to be busy.

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