4 Ways You Can Impress Your Boss

Kissing the boss's hand
Kissing the boss’s hand | NBC

Impressing your boss is a good idea. If you want to move up through the corporate ladder, and potentially fast track your career, you will need to make a good impression; your boss also has the power to choose you for important projects, and also give you negative or positive performance reviews.
The impression you’ve made probably started when you first met, but it’s never too late to start trying to impress your boss. It is important to note that impressing your boss is different from sucking up to your boss; being too eager may frustrate your co-workers (and even cause them to resent or distrust you); too much groveling also might irritate your boss or make you look desperate.  However, you don’t need to brown nose your way through your job – you can impress your boss in other ways. Here are four ways to impress your boss that are genuine.

1. Know your stuff

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos knows his stuff, so should you | David Ryder/Getty Images)

If you want to make a good impression, it’s a good idea to do your research. There may be a hundred other people who have the same qualifications as you do, and perhaps they could do just as good of a job as you can, but you can set yourself apart by knowing about your field. Avoid relying on your training or degree, and look at the news. Read journals with updates in your field, build relationships with people in your field, and learn about new research and studies. Then, if possible, take your research a step further, and determine how the new information can help the company you work for. Sites like ScienceDaily are a great way to learn about the newest research; you can find a more specific site for your own field.

2. Put in extra time

Programmer Working Busy Software
Programmer hard at work| iStock.com/Rawpixel Ltd

If you’re an hourly employee, you might need to pay attention to when you come to work, and when you leave. However, you can still offer to work overtime if it’s necessary. If you are a salaried employee, then you are expected to work until the work is finished (but that doesn’t mean that everyone does). Instead of rushing out every day at 5 p.m., stay late once in a while and work on an important project. Or login from home, and put in some extra time. Obviously, you don’t want to get burned out, but you won’t impress your boss if you are packing up your stuff and looking at the clock every single day.
Putting in extra time doesn’t have to be about your specific work hours; it can mean putting in the time necessary to do the job right. If your boss wants you to redo something, do it without complaint. Your willingness to do the best work possible will surely impress.

3. Be respectful and professional

Boss teaching about respect | NBC
Boss teaching about respect | NBC

You certainly won’t impress your boss if you’re frequently late to work, if you dress down for an important meeting with clients who show up in suits, or if you speak rudely to your co-workers or your actual boss. As important as it is to avoid being disrespectful, making the effort to be respectful and professional can also have a big effect. You can show respect in the way you speak to your boss. You also show respect by taking your work and meetings seriously, by being prepared, and by being respectful to clients. If you dislike your boss, or you struggle with being respectful, you can work on answering your boss respectfully by remembering that you are the employee, listening to what your boss is saying, and being aware of your tone when answering.

4. Get along with your co-workers

McKinsey and Company
McKinsey & Company employees | McKinsey & Company via Facebook

You might be the smartest person on your team, or you might be the quickest to finish your work, but your boss will surely notice if you also constantly gossip, argue with, or completely avoid your co-workers. It’s important to make an effort to at least be civil with your co-workers; you don’t have to be their best friend, but you do need to get along well enough to collaborate when necessary. Your boss will be impressed if you offer to help your co-workers when you don’t need to, and if you can put personal differences aside and prioritize the work that needs to get done. Also, you may find that your boss is more willing to promote you into a leadership role (or let you take the lead on projects) if you work well with your co-workers; a truly effective leader needs to be able to get along with other people.
Try to avoid office gossip. Participating in petty office gossip makes you look immature, and it wastes company time as well. In order to stop gossip at work, start by avoiding it completely; talk to your co-workers directly if you have an issue that needs to be worked out; also, consider spending time with people who also avoid gossip.
In order to succeed at work, you will need to prove that you can do your job well; however, learning to impress your boss will take you even farther than simply succeeding in your various job duties.