Published on June 6th, 2019
Our work consumes a large part of our lives. According to the latest study conducted by Business Insider, the average person spends more than 90.000 hours at work over a lifetime. Let’s not forget that a lot of people work more than eight hours a day.
That’s why it is essential to find an exciting job that will give you satisfaction and a sense of direction in your life. The one where you will be able to learn and develop your professional skills. If you want to excel in your career, you need to know how to communicate with your boss.
You can have custom stickers with your company logo on your backpack and mobile phone, make coffee for your boss and work on the weekends, but it will not help you get promoted. Instead, it will make you feel bad about yourself. However, there are smart ways to draw your boss’s attention and finally get what you want:
1. Talk To Your Boss
Not so many kids at school wanted to answer the teacher’s questions next to the blackboard. It was easier to sit in the back of the class and pretend you were invisible. Surprisingly, it is the same in the ‘adult world’. Most people don’t feel comfortable speaking to their boss. They think it is safer to avoid communication with top-level managers.
If your boss doesn’t talk to you, it doesn’t mean you do your job right; it means that you are not a valuable member of the team. Your manager should know your name, your skills and drawbacks to give you a raise. So, it is in your best interest to get the time with your boss.
2. Be Valuable
You are hired because you can do something the company needs at the moment. Your boss wants you to work as good as possible. So, being a nice person is not enough in the workplace. If you want to excel in your career, prove that you are the right person. To do so, you need to keep learning so that you will have a 360-degree viewpoint of your field. Who does fire professionals?
Consider making a list of your knowledgeable gaps and try to fix them. Some companies will be happy to invest in your education. However, it is something that you will need to take care of on your own. Your boss will not come to ask you nicely whether you want to learn and get promoted or not.
First and foremost, consider it a personal challenge; don’t do it for the company only. You may not stay at the same workplace until your retirement, but knowledge will remain.
3. Offer More
You may picture yourself as a boss in your dreams, but you should understand that being in the driver’s seat isn’t only about taking breaks whenever you want or making good money. It means having a lot of responsibility. If you want your boss to notice you, offer more than it is required. For example, you can suggest how to improve something. Make sure to avoid discussing the work of your colleagues and other managers.
Your boss will appreciate some practical suggestions that will benefit everyone. Also, it will show that you are smart, creative, and most importantly, you care about the company.
Another important thing is to avoid running errands. Your goal is to show that you are a high-potential employee, not a servant. While other employees make coffee for your boss, aim higher.
4. Ask For Feedback
Ask your boss for feedback and give them to understand that you care about your performance. You can send an email or ask in person if it is possible. If you have managers who supervise your work, ask them first.
Make your request look professional. For example, you can ask about the steps you can take to exceed expectations, what you can do to perform better, or what else you can learn, etc.
5. Small Talk
Surprisingly, but leaders do feel lonely. Their employees don’t consider them friends and keep the distance. If you want to have a better relationship with your boss, use the ‘power of small talk.’
The small talk in the kitchen or the hallway gives you an opportunity to show that you have personality. Besides the weather, there are a lot of ‘safe topics’ including current events, sports, practical suggestions etc.
Try to understand your boss’s body language and facial expression. For instance, you see that he is busy, don’t bother asking questions. In case your boss is eager to take a break and have a small talk, be there for him. Practise your listening, it will help you learn more about your boss and reduce the chances of saying something foolish. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your boss, practice small talk with strangers and your colleagues first.
In some cases, your boss may be incompetent and have no clue what exactly you are doing. It doesn’t mean you can gossip behind their back. Work hard in order to jumpstart your career. There is no need to become friends with your boss or serve your managers. Become valuable professional who can make suggestions and take responsibility. Your career is in your hands.