How to Impress Your Boss (Without Giving Up Your Work/Life Balance)

Office workerIt seems that maintaining your personal life while trying to climb the corporate ladder or enhance your work life is nearly impossible. It’s incredibly hard to balance work and family, which is why it is such a hot topic.

You can impress your boss without working 12 hours per day and working late into the evenings. You don’t even have to engage in office politics, which is a method that some use to clamor ahead in the proverbial rat race.

Here’s some ideas on how to impress your boss without sacrificing your life.

Choose Your Work Team Wisely

The work that you do in a team with your colleagues reflects not only on yourself, it reflects on your colleagues in your work team as well. If a project goes sideways and there are several individuals working on it, typically the onus is on the entire team, even if you had nothing to do with it’s demise.

If you end up working in a team with people who won’t pull their weight, you risk of shouldering the entire project or the project falling through. Choose who you work with wisely (not just based on who you like the best) to ensure that you the work that you do will be appreciated.

Figure Out Their Schedule

What is your boss’ work schedule? This is an important question in some work environments. If my boss works from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, and I show up 20 minutes early each morning when I arrive at 8:00 AM, my boss will never know that I am working longer hours unless I mention it to her (in which case I just sound whiny).

A colleague and I one time worked out that our coworkers tended to give us funny looks as if we were leaving early when we worked from 8-4. Working from 8:30-4:30 was much more forgiving to them, and we both got many comments from our superiors about how we were working late. We weren’t  In fact, we were working the exact same amount of hours as before, but we were around when our bosses were in the office.

Volunteer for Projects

Especially when you are already incredibly busy, project work can sound daunting and overwhelming. But volunteering for projects will show your supervisor that you are taking initiative.

If one not so important project has to sit on the back burner while you work on another project, it’s unlikely your boss will notice. They will likely be so relieved to have a volunteer for a project.

Bonus: The more projects you volunteer for, the more workplace topics you become the “go-to” person on. If you are a “go-to” person on several topics, you will be seen as knowledgeable and having a wide range of experience.

Propose a Solution

Finding a problem is great. It can lead to cost savings which will keep your manager happy. However, finding a problem does nothing if you don’t do your research, present solutions to the problem, recommend a solution and have that solution adopted.

If you identify an issue in the workplace, work hard to find a solution and identify the reasons why your recommendation should be taken over the other alternatives. Present both the positive aspects of your recommended solution, and the issues with it.

If you are able to solve a problem, come up with a viable and effective solution, and put that solution into effect, your boss will thrilled. Finding efficiencies in the department makes your boss look good, also, and can save the company a lot of money.

Be Confident

Being confident in your abilities and skills at work commands respect from those working around you, including your manager. If you can do something, or if you did do something that went un-noticed, bring it up in your next performance review. Calling attention to your accomplishments and abilities is not a negative thing, and your boss will likely appreciate you bringing it to their attention.

How have you impressed your boss without staying late?


How to Impress Your Boss (Without Giving Up Your Work/Life Balance) — 11 Comments

  1. I know all about the hours thing. In my first job my group came in earlier but a group I occassiknally worked with always worked 2 hours later and thought I was slacking by leaving early. It was all cleared up by a simple discussion but I am glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore.

    • Sometimes all you have to do is sit down and talk about things but its not fun to have to deal with them to begin with

  2. Hey Daisy,

    Speaking as both a boss and an employee, I’d say the best thing you can do to impress your boss is to make his life stress free. Deliver projects ahead of time with more work than was assigned. Pay attention to what the current wrench-in-the-works is for you boss and see if there is something that you can do to help them out.

  3. I really enjoyed this post, Daisy. These are great tips for certain occupations – the schedule one can vary depending on what does one do and whether their contribution can be measure in terms of output (results) rather than input (time as a desk). But the ‘propose solutions’ tip strikes me as great – often during meeting all we hear is people piinting out what the problems may be; it is so valuable to figure out the solutions.

  4. It’s always good to impress the boss, but make sure that the person you are trying to impress does not get threatened by your presence and what you’re doing because some bosses’ tendency towards that kind of enthusiasm over work is to think you’re after his job. I’m not saying all bosses are like that, but try to know the person you are working with very well first before doing anything that might break or make your standing in the office.

  5. I’m a fan of this one. In my first job, I hated staying late at the office at would leave right at 6pm every day, even if I had work left to do (I would do it at home where I could be comfy on the couch with my dinner and a beer). It wasn’t until 6 months later when I had my performance review that I realized this was reflecting poorly on me. I had built up a reputation in the office for being “that guy that leaves at the bell every day.”

    I don’t agree with the idea that putting in face time is something that companies should care about. If you’re getting your work done and it’s good work, that’s all that should matter. But this is the world we live in and most companies, especially those in big cities, do care about that stuff. So rather than making the mistakes I did, find a way to give them what they want without killing yourself by putting in 15 or 20 extra minutes on either end of when your boss is there. Very, very good advice, Daisy.

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