Impressing Your Boss
By: Pat Donahue
As summer approaches, students will be starting new jobs and internships and meeting their boss for perhaps the first time since the interview.
What are the best ways to make a good first impression on your boss? Here’s my super seven:
- Be on time. That does not mean “college time”: five minutes after class starts. It means being at least five minutes early for meetings. Punctuality is a sign of respect for others’ time.
- At meetings, listen to understand. Be curious, ask questions, and jot down answers. Once you understand, be eager to contribute. And don’t discuss problems without offering solutions. No one likes a whiner. Even a whiner’s mother.
- Be helpful. When you finish a project, don’t check out social media. Ask your boss what you can do next to help the organization. Your work ethic and commitment to the organization will be noticed and appreciated.
- Act and dress professionally. Be civil, empathetic and considerate of colleagues. In other words, watch the actions of those on the evening news and do the exact opposite.
- Find out the preferred method of communication in your organization and how your boss wants to communicate with you. It may be face to face, phone, email, text, or instant messaging. I’m 54 and when my staff wants to talk to me, I prefer to do it in person or on the phone. But, when our office communicates with students, we use social media (coordinated by student staff), text, and email. Intergenerational communication requires flexibility and understanding.
- I have a quotation from Oscar Wilde on my desk which says, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” Although it is important to adapt to a company culture, you were hired for your unique skills, experiences and personality, so meet with your boss to discuss how your attributes can help the organization.
- Be friendly, collaborative and have a positive attitude. Share ideas. You will quickly develop a reputation as a team player who others want to work with. Happiness really is contagious. And it’s not just good for your career, it’s good for your soul.