17, 10, 2016
It’s National Boss Day (or National Boss Appreciation)! I bet you guys had no idea this even existed. I really appreciate my boss and have a great relationship with her, so I keep this day on the radar to send her over a quick ‘thank you’ for everything.
It’s no secret that I want to be an entrepreneur and I know many of us ‘millennials’ do too. So we tend to hate our day job or at least long for the moment we get off so that we can run home and chase the dream. Even if you love your job, it’s easy to see it and your employer as an obstacle to conquer on your way to your own empire. It doesn’t have to be like that. Your job, and your boss, can be a great propeller in helping you reach your dreams.
If you want to make the most out of your job, no matter where you work, it’s important to appreciate your boss and see him/her as an asset. So in honor of National Boss Day, I’m sharing how.
Questions are the number one tool in your professional arsenal. It helps improve your learning and it opens the door little tidbits of knowledge than can give you an edge up. It’s also one of the best ways to get the most out of your boss. Chances are your boss didn’t just wake and become a manager or supervisor or CEO. At the bare minimum, and this is a VERY low estimate, they’ve gone to school, gained a few years of experience, worked in your same position, made some connections and proven themselves enough to be trusted to manage others. And with all of these things come knowledge. Even the crappiest boss knows something that’ll be useful to you. So, ask them!
Take a moment and ask your boss a question. Ask about a company goal or how to do something (not something that’s your job to know how to do, but something that shows you’re taking an initiative). These open ended questions will get your boss talking and, if done on a consistent basis, get him/her dropping some very valuable wisdom nuggets. Also, ask you boss for feedback. They’ll love that you are taking the initiative to be better (if you apply the feedback) and you’ll grow as a professional.
The four worst words you can ever utter at work is “that’s not my job.” That’s the quickest way to close yourself off to professional opportunities that could be beneficial. Offer to assist your supervisor with something that isn’t your job. Is there an event coming up? Does your job need extra hands in a different department? Think about the other skills you have to offer and offer them! Trust me no one will mind if they are getting extra help and your primary work isn’t being left undone. Plus, the time spent shadowing can give you an opportunity to grow closer, interact with others in different departments and learn something.
This is a scary step but an important one when it comes to having your boss as an ally and getting all that you can from your job. Pop into the office for a quick one-on-one or invite him/her out for lunch. The personal time will give both of you an opportunity to know each other better and you an opportunity to show that you are trustworthy and tap into his/her expertise. Personally, having one-on-one time with my boss has been a game changer. In these meetings and moments I’ve asked questions, asked for feedback and shared my personal professional goals. I’ve learned about her professional journey and goals, her personal life and soaked up every single bit of advice I could. I’ve learned more about business and marketing from these interactions than I’ve ever learned in school. And because I shared my personal goals, she’s added me to work projects related to fashion and connects me with others in her network.
This is a tip that my actually boss hip me to. I’d never heard of it until she reprimanded me for not managing her. I was thinking “whet? I’m not your boss!” But she shared with me that in order to be successful, grow and acquire some real leadership skills, I’ve got to learn how to manage up. The truth is your boss is busy, we all are, and they’re human. So they will also forget things and drop the ball. Managing up, making sure that they do what they need to do so that you can get your job done, will show them how dedicated you are. It’ll also let them know that they can trust you with a task. And once they can trust you, they’ll come to you for those tasks that nobody seems to get right. They will see you as an asset to the company and do what they can to help and keep you.
Of course these only work id you’re a good worker. If you suck, your boss will certainly be and obstacle to you because you are an obstacle to them. Be an asset and you’ll find that they are willing to bend over backwards for you. So today take a moment to hand your boss a little token of appreciation in honor of National Boss’s Day and take a step to begin your relationship.