Personal Growth

How to Impress Your Boss

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Striving to impress your boss is a goal all employees have in common. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first day at a new job or you’ve been with the same company for ten years—you want your boss to like you. If you are starting a new career, you must make a positive first impression.

If you’ve been at a job for a while, then you might be thinking about a possible promotion. Impressing your boss is critical in this situation. So, no matter where you are in your career, you want your boss to think highly of you.

But how do you impress your boss without sucking up or annoying your fellow employees? There are many ways to be very successful in accomplishing this.

Understand How the Company Works

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Demonstrating your knowledge of your job and the company that you work for is a surefire way to impress your boss. This doesn’t mean you have to know everything right away—there will be a learning curve when you first start a job. You need to figure out how your position fits into the larger structure of the organization as a whole.

Don’t be afraid to ask your boss questions about your role in the company and how you contribute to its overall function. Understanding this information will show you have a long-term interest in this job. Whether or not you think you’ll work for this company your entire life, it’s always good to put your all into everything you do. If you do change jobs in the future, your boss will easily be able to write an excellent recommendation for you.

Take Initiative

Be proactive. Please don’t wait around for opportunities: create them. Express your passions. Show how creative you are.

Seek solutions instead of waiting for someone else to fix them. Volunteer to take on new projects. Prove that you don’t need to be supervised all the time.

Of course, you don’t want to step on other people’s toes. There’s a difference between taking initiative and being pushy. Don’t forget about that line, so you don’t cross it.

Also, you don’t want to take on too much simultaneously. Stressing yourself out is not the best way to impress your boss. The quality of your output is much more important than the quantity.

impress your boss and take initiative
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Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up

Ask questions! There is no shame in being unsure about something. This is especially true if you’re at a new job. Even if you’re not new, asking questions shows that you want to learn and improve as an employee.

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You can never have too much knowledge because you never know when it will be helpful.

Speaking up also involves bringing complaints and problems to your boss’s attention. If a fellow employee is not acting according to company policy and affecting your work, talk to them. If they still don’t change their ways after you’ve confronted them about it, then go to your boss.

Explain the situation, tell them you talked to your coworker one-on-one, and inform them that nothing has changed. Don’t worry; you’re not a snitch; you’re simply acting in the best interest of the company as a whole. Your boss will recognize this.

Similarly, if there is a structural or procedural issue in the company that impedes the working environment, speak up. It will impress your boss that you’re thinking of ways to improve the company and become more efficient.

There’s a way to approach your boss respectfully and professionally if you have an issue with how something is done. Remember that nothing may change—but at least you tried! Now your boss knows that you’re thinking critically and progressively, which is a great thing.

Connect on a Personal Level

There’s nothing wrong with getting to know your boss as a person, as long as you don’t act too friendly. You don’t need to become BFFs, but you want an amicable working relationship. Taking the time to learn about your boss as an individual is another way to show that you’re invested in this job. Some ways to connect with your boss include:

  • Asking about their passions and hobbies
  • Attending office dinners and parties
  • Asking about their family life
  • Eating lunch together on break
  • Grab a cup of coffee (or tea) together.

No one is professional all the time, and if you can be friendly with your boss, that will allow you to display your knowledge and skills in a new way.

Always Arrive Early (Or At Least on Time)

This one is pretty basic. Promptness is essential in the workplace. It shows that you care about being present and that your work is critical to you. Arriving early will impress your boss because it indicates that you plan your time well.

Sometimes, depending on your commute and unpredictable traffic, the only way to know you’ll be on time to work is to be a bit early. Also, if you arrive before (or about the same time as) your boss, it will show that you are ambitious and have a strong work ethic.

Dress to Impress

Although appearance isn’t everything, it certainly is something. You want to make sure that you’re adhering to the office dress code every single day, especially when you’re first starting a new job. If you look sharp and act sharp, your boss will notice.

It reflects well on the company if the employees are professionally presenting themselves. On days that you’ll be attending a networking event or a meeting with other departments, take some extra time to look incredibly professional that day. Your boss will appreciate it, and you’ll feel more confident!

Consistently Meet Deadlines

No boss wants an employee who is constantly turning things in late. To impress your boss, you must consistently finish tasks and projects early or precisely on time. Turning things in early is even better than on time because it shows you know how to manage your time well.

The key here is consistency: it doesn’t matter if you complete one task on time if the next two are late. Your boss can’t count on you if this is your pattern, and you want to show that you’re a reliable employee.

Be Task-Oriented At Work

impress your boss by being task oriented at work
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Work time is for work: it’s that simple. When you’re on the clock, you must be productive to impress your boss. Don’t bring your baggage with you to the office. Stay focused on the job, and don’t waste time on your phone or completing other personal tasks.

Of course, you can do that during your lunch break, and that’s not a problem. When you’re supposed to be doing your job, though, show your boss that you value their time and respect the work environment.

React to Feedback And Make a Change

No one will do everything correctly all the time. You’re undoubtedly going to make a couple of mistakes. Those mistakes don’t define you, though; how you react to criticism and adjust your proceedings does.

The feedback you receive might not even be criticism—your boss might like the way you do something and ask you to do it more. No matter the input, if you want to impress your boss, you need to be able to adjust the way you operate to fit their expectations.

Pay Attention to the Big Picture…

Understanding the vision for the company is crucial. It shows your boss that you’re deeply invested in advancing the business and not just worried about getting your job done. Remember that you’re one piece in a giant, complex puzzle, and you need to understand how the entire puzzle looks to find out where you fit in.

This is also an excellent way to show how creative you are. Bring your big ideas to meetings and offer ways to advance the company. Be sure that your thoughts support your boss’s goals for the business, and they will be doubly impressed with you.

…And All the Little Details

impress your boss at work
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You don’t want to get so caught up in the abstract that you forget about the daily work that goes into meeting goals. Keep track of your daily tasks in a notebook or planner. Make sure no deadlines pass you by. It’s these little things that make the big, lofty goals attainable.

Demonstrating that you can focus on both the big picture and the minute details shows that you’re a well-rounded employee who could make a great leader in the company one day. This is a massive plus for you when your boss needs to fill a higher position.

Be a Team Player

Significantly few jobs don’t require working collaboratively, so chances are you have to be able to work well with others at your job. There’s a reason we have to do so many group projects in school; they’re practice for post-college life.

Being a team player when assigned a group project in the workplace will impress your boss. Collaborating with others can be frustrating and challenging, but if you can pull through and pull the team together, it will look good for you. Group projects are also an opportunity to show that you can be a leader, which is essential when your boss picks people to consider for a promotion.

Showing that you’re a team player doesn’t just have to happen in the context of a group task. You can show that you work well with others every day. In addition to impressing your boss, your coworkers will enjoy having you around!

Show That You’re Invested

This encompasses a lot of different points that have been discussed. Showing that you’re invested in your job—whether you’re brand-new and still unsure if this is your career destination or you’ve been with the company for over a decade—is sure to impress your boss. Being invested means that you:

  • Understand your job
  • Work on furthering the goals of the company
  • Do your job, do it well, and do it efficiently.
  • Get to know your boss and coworkers.
  • Focus on your job when you’re at work
  • Keep up with the industry
  • Come early and stay late (as long as this doesn’t interfere with your life)
  • Seize networking opportunities

The best way to impress your boss is to show that you’re genuinely invested in your job. You must combine many elements that show you care about being a great employee and an asset to the company.

There are so many ways to impress your boss. These are a few of the main ones, so if you do all of these things, you will be in a great position at your job.

Are there other things you’ve done at work that your boss appreciated? Are you a supervisor with insider knowledge of what is favorable in an employee? Share in the comments below!

Resources: Forbes (1, 2), Hubspot, PopSugar

How To Impress Your Boss

Are you interested in learning more about how to impress your boss? Be sure to read 37 Tips & Tools To Help You Impress Your Boss.

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40 Comments

  1. These are great ways to impress. I am my own boss these days, so I don’t have anyone to impress but ME 🙂

  2. My boss is very impressed with me (I’m my own boss!) 🙂 Before becoming my own boss, I always made sure I got to work early. I liked to have a cup of coffee and a little quiet time before my day started. These are all great tips on how to impress your boss.

  3. These are all excellent tips. So many people are so focused on not rocking the boat that they forget to make the right waves.

  4. These are VERY good tips! To get anywhere up in the company you need to have a good working relationship with your boss. One day that could help you when the time comes when they need to find someone dependable!

  5. Taking initiative is a great way to show that you take your work seriously. These are all great tips for impressing your boss and your coworkers too!

  6. What a fantastic post – I’ve been with my current employer for 4 years now and it’s reminded me that the little things so count. I love how in depth your post is. Great work!

  7. I agree 100% with your list to impressing a boss… and even your co-workers! it’s all about being a team player and stepping up to the plate whenever possible!

    1. That’s so true! Many (if not all) of these points can be reframed to talk about how to impress a co-worker. Thank you for reading!

  8. These are all great ways to impress a boss and it is sad that many people do not realize how important showing up on time is. It is also important for a happy employee to have their boss ask personal questions as well.

  9. Your tips are practical and doable! You have also worded them well and can be easily followed. I am not working now, but can totally take some of the advice even as a stay-home mom.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m glad you were able to find some valuable advice here, even as a stay at home mom (which really is a true full-time job).

    1. You’re so right! Many people try to get away with doing the bare minimum, but to make a good impression you have to take those little extra steps. Thank you for reading!

  10. Such a GREAT article – you hit all of the key pointers, very realistically as well. When I worked in Corporate America, I made sure that I asked a lot of questions and showed initiative.

  11. These are great tips! I think it’s easy to just keep our head down and do our job… And that may keep us in work, but it may not give us the opportunity to advance.

  12. These are great tips! When I’ve worked outside the home, I have definitely done many of these things and was able to move up quickly and gain a raise.

  13. Love your tips! I really like the one about showing initiative. I’ve always felt like that’s where my best success comes from.

  14. These are all great tips that are not only helpful, but are easy to do! I just started working outside of the home in February (after being home for 6 years), so this post was SO HELPFUL to me!

  15. I get to work 15 minutes early every day and it’s a great opportunity to get to know my coworkers on a more personal level since the work day has not officially started yet. I have also learned quite a lot about the company just with those morning chats so they’re definitely worth it!

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