When it comes to your career, the most important relationship you have is between you and your boss. And more likely than not, you’ll have many bosses throughout your life—all with different personalities, working styles and expectations.
Your supervisor has a lot of sway when it comes to your career. They can affect your morale, productivity, progression and reputation within a company or department. In fact, the number-one reason employees leave their jobs is due to bad relationships with their bosses, which is why it’s so important to try and start off on the right foot.
Whether you’re starting a new job or welcoming a new manager, this blog is here to help you navigate a healthy and positive relationship with your leader.
How to Impress a New Boss
Being a new employee or getting a new boss can be a nerve-wracking experience, but there are some simple steps you can take to help make this transition go as smoothly as possible (and earn some cred in the process).
1. Make a Good First Impression
First impressions count and, in many cases, they set the tone for your entire relationship. It can be as simple as sending your future boss a short but sweet LinkedIn message letting them know how excited you are to work with them. Or it can be as elaborate as organizing a fun team outing focused on getting to know your new manager. The goal is to start in your new boss’s good graces and begin the relationship on a great note.
2. Find Common Ground
Although it may be tempting to jump right into the nitty-gritty of your job, an excellent way to start a working relationship is by focusing on topics other than work. Find out if you share any interests, hobbies or passions—but make sure to avoid anything too personal (stay away from topics like religion and politics).
3. Discuss Your Goals
If one thing’s true about any good boss, it’s that they want to see you succeed and are willing to help you do exactly that. Discussing your long and short-term goals for yourself and the company will help get your new manager excited about working with you. It also helps showcase what’s important to you as a professional and that you’re a motivated, engaged and ambitious employee.
4. Be Empathetic
Managers are people too, and they make mistakes just like anyone else. It’s important to give your boss the benefit of the doubt when the going gets rough. It’s easy to jump to conclusions when something goes awry, but try to keep an open mind and avoid taking anything personally. Stay positive, be respectful, and assume that their intentions are good as you navigate some of the inevitable challenges you’ll need to overcome together.
5. Help Them Succeed, Too
Whether you’re the newbie at the company or your boss is, it’s helpful to be, well, helpful. As much as you need their guidance, understanding and support, be willing to offer yours as well. Think about ways you can help each other out (after all, their success can be your success and vice versa). For example, you can help your boss by keeping them up to speed on the daily work happenings, any important team and market dynamics that you have observed that they may not yet be aware of, or by brainstorming potential solutions to issues as they come up. Keeping an eye out for mutual opportunities to shine will go a long way to nurturing an amazing partnership.
What to Expect from a New Boss
It can be tricky to know what to expect from your new manager. New leaders can have different styles, priorities and personalities, so it’s important to try and get a sense of their working style as soon as possible. But there are mutual standards for how you and your boss should treat one another. You both should:
- Communicate clearly.
- Treat each other with respect.
- Offer support when needed.
- Give constructive feedback.
- Come to situations with understanding.
- Motivate one another to succeed.
- Hold one another accountable.
- Celebrate and recognize successes.
While the above is ideal, we know that not every boss comes equipped with these skills. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to silently accept bad behavior or poor leadership. Instead, you can take these moments as learning opportunities and make a conscious effort to improve your relationship by quickly assessing the situation and sharing your constructive (but respectful) feedback with your manager.
How Your Manager Can Help You Progress in Your Career
Your manager can have a considerable impact on your career; they can be your biggest advocate or your biggest roadblock. But, if you keep these tips in mind, your relationship with them should be a positive one. That said, you truly only have control over the energies and behaviors that you bring to the relationship. So, focus first and foremost on how you’re contributing to the dynamic—for better or worse—and adjust accordingly from there.
Looking for more job advice? Our team at Peoplelink Staffing can help you make big waves in your career and chosen industry. For over 30 years, we’ve linked top administrative, professional and industrial talent to top employers across the United States, so we know a thing or two about taking your career to the next level. Benefit from our industry expertise and connect with us today.