Imagine how much less stressed and more successful you’d be at work if you knew some tips to impress your boss.
The truth is all bosses are human, even if they don’t show it and you can’t see past their cold-hearted, robotic nature.
They all have feelings, desires, and pain points. And that’s why you have the opportunity to be valuable to them. Everyone needs something.
The way you get on their good side takes work so it won’t be easy. But everyone reading this, including you, can build an advantageous relationship with their manager that pays daily dividends.
And don’t forget that your boss is the one who holds the key to assigning the best work projects, promoting you, giving you a raise, and advocating for your job security.
That’s your motivation right there to develop and sustain a solid work-relationship with the head honcho. They have the power and resources you could use.
Let’s uncover 13 ways to stand out at work and get noticed.
How To Impress Your Boss
1. Know what they value most
You need to know your target to hit it. And having a clear idea of what your manager values most is your north star in this mission.
For example, if your entire performance is based on how many employees you recruit for a company, put 99.9% of your energy into that and 0.1% of your energy into internal emails.
Most likely it’s obvious based on your job, what they talk about in emails and meetings, and how your performance is evaluated. But if it’s not crystal clear, straight up ask your manager.
But knowing what they want is one thing, executing is the next.
2. Be a top-performer
Why did your company hire you in the first place? Not just to do your job, but to do it well, really well.
So if I were you, each time I’d get a project or a task I’d ask myself, “How can I go above and beyond what they asked?”
Simply asking that question should get your head in the right place to be a top-performer. Then hustle like this company owes you nothing because they don’t.
Aim to be the MVP of your office not by talking the talk but walking the walk. Numbers don’t lie. Your manager will 100% notice who is carrying the team on their back.
Bottom line: Get the job done every single week with a world-class performance!
3. Treat customers with amazing service
Going above and beyond for a customer establishes trust and significantly increases the odds of them only going to your company with their business in the future.
See why the person you report to would love this?
It makes them look good for one. And when a big client tells your boss, “That account rep I have is awesome. I love working with her. She’s always positive and gets the job done like a pro,” you’ll get the credit you deserve.
At his wine shop, Gary Vaynerchuk tells a story of how he hand delivered wine to a customer on the day before Christmas Eve because it was the right thing to do. That’s commitment to customers.
4. Bring them solutions, not problems
Every boss I’ve worked with is extremely busy. Not only do they have to manage their team, but they also have their own responsibilities and objectives to complete for their bosses.
That means they have their own work problems to solve. But if you pile your problems onto them (along with your coworkers doing the same), your boss will only be stressed out.
The key is to bring them solutions, not problems. Or if you can’t find solutions, at least bring ideas to solve these problems.
Framing yourself as a problem-solver will go a long way in your career.
5. Show up early, work late
This one doesn’t require any strategy, just hard work to put in the extra hours before everyone shows up and after they leave.
People respect hard workers in general. But when your boss sees you showing up early and working late, they’ll notice and keep that in mind when it comes time for a raise or a promotion.
Plus, working extra hours helps you excel at your job and stay organized—which also help you make a positive impression.
This reminds me of a story during my first week of work out of college. The boss at my old sales job closed his door to go home at 7 PM, looked back at the rest of the empty office to turn off the flights, then saw me at my computer and said, “You’re still here?”
Just by the look on his face I knew I impressed him. You can easily do this at your job.
6. Work Saturdays (maybe Sundays too)
Just as an army general appreciates a committed soldier, a manager appreciates a dedicated employee. On top of working early and late during the week you can also work Saturdays to gain upper-management’s support.
And maybe you never take a day off by working Sundays (this is especially huge if you’re at a start-up).
Remember this article is about impressing your boss after all—not juggling work-life balance at an all-star level. If you love what you do (like this article preaches), then this won’t be an issue.
And if you can’t stand your job, you’ll want to refocus your efforts from impressing your boss to finding a new one you do like.
7. Improve old processes
Many companies are stuck doing things for the sole reason of “that’s how it’s always been done.” But you can use new technology and innovative methods to break the company out of outdated processes.
For example, if your company has 60 minute meetings that you know can be cut down to 20 minutes, suggest the change and watch how productivity increases. If your coworkers are in the bad habit of unnecessary emails, tell them to call you or stop by your office since it’s quicker.
You’ll find old processes and habits all over the place if you spend enough time to think about them. And more productivity means more profits for your company down the road.
8. Get resourceful
Bosses love when you can make a successful product pitch, deliver the report, or complete a project. But it’s even sweeter when you can succeed without much supervision or resources.
Resourcefulness also highlights that you’re the single x-factor making this happen, not an expensive budget or a whole team making it happen.
Fun fact: One way Elon Musk’s SpaceX continues to win is through resourceful employees and insourcing to dramatically cut costs.
Be a SpaceX-like employee by getting more out of less.
9. Support your teammates
While I’m all for being the most ambitious son of a gun out there, you need to balance that with also being a team player.
If you leave your coworkers hanging on a project or make a rude remark, you’ll be the one giving your boss a headache.
Even in the case where it’s not your fault, their incompetence makes you look bad in front of your manager. That’s the opposite of what we want.
The best employees make their teams better. Do that and your coworkers will praise you instead of blaming you.
10. Go to company socials
To truly impress your boss you’re going to need to do some things you don’t want to.
That may mean giving up a night with friends for a company office party or volunteering event. Even if the event is optional, Amanda Green says many managers expect you to go and could punish you if you do not—so just go.
You don’t need to stay for 5 hours, because 1 or 2 hours is sufficient to get the point across that you participated and are a part of the team.
Now if you enjoy your coworkers and company socials, this is a bonus for you! Have fun and strike up a conversation with your boss.
(And use this guide to make the most of the social event without risking losing your job on Monday morning.)
11. Honor your word
No matter the crisis or circumstance, if you committed to getting that report done by 8 AM the next morning, do whatever it takes to follow through. Go all out.
If that means getting 3 hours of sleep or doing it in between you throw up, then so be it. You can always catch up on sleep or rest.
But trust is something unrecoverable once it’s broken. Honoring your word ensures both you never face this problem and remain reliable.
12. Ask for constructive criticism
Your boss would love to hear a conversation or email where you communicate something like:
Hey, I wanted to let you know that I’m committed to developing my skills at this position and performing at the highest level. But I know I have some areas to improve on to get to that point.
Can you give me constructive criticism about what I can work on to get better? I’m asking for it, so don’t hold back. Thanks!
A bunch of positives stem off of this.
First, you’re expressing your desire to add more value to the company, which they will love to hear. Second, you’re showing your boss you respect them and their opinion. Third, you have a conversation starter going forward where you can mention progress you’ve made because of their feedback.
That move is what you call a winner, winner, chicken dinner. Your boss will love it!
13. Produce more value than you’re paid
Look around the office and I bet you can name on one hand the people who are truly hustling at their job. It’s sad, but true, that people strive to do the least amount of work possible for the most pay.
Instead of that attitude —which is a terrible mindset by the way and will infect other areas of your life—how about you push yourself to make your company more money than you’re paid. That’s rewarding!
Doing this also ensures you have job security because you’re not a leach on the books like some other people in your office.
To truly impress your boss and get on their good side, it takes a focused effort and some time to develop.
But put into action some (or all) of the golden tips and you’ll position yourself to be their favorite:
- Know what they value most
- Be a top-performer
- Treat customers with amazing service
- Bring them solutions, not problems
- Show up early, work late
- Work Saturdays (maybe Sundays too)
- Improve old processes
- Get resourceful
- Support your teammates
- Go to company socials
- Honor your word
- Ask for constructive criticism
- Produce more value than you’re paid
Once that happens then a raise, promotion, or solid recommendation letter is only an ask away at your yearly review.
And instead of your boss holding the leverage over you or you sweating out the thought of getting fired, your performance gives you the leverage to get a sweet deal going forward.
That’s how you turn the tables in your career.