The world of business is dynamic, and sometimes it can seem impossible to keep up with all the changes, new rules, and new technology. But no matter what the latest and greatest improvements or reforms in industry standards are, there are some golden rules that will always remain constant. Here are four ways to impress your boss and stay on your A-game at work that have stood the test of time.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
When you get a project there’s usually a set of directions that your boss will want you to follow and an estimated deadline. It can be tempting to just jump in and get started, but before you get to work, look over the project and ask questions. If you have the time, read the instructions twice so you really understand everything and then create a list of questions to ask your boss before you get started. This helps prevent miscommunications and ensures that you have a clear set of directions to follow. Don’t forget to take notes and put everything in writing so you can refer to the list while you work!
Ask the right questions
It’s essential to read the directions and communication to show that you fully understand the project. Some questions you can ask are:
What is the deadline (if it’s not specified already) for the finished project?
Do you want this project turned in piece by piece or all at once?
If the project is turned in piece by piece, how many milestones would you like to set up?
What are the deadlines for those milestones?
How frequently would you like updates on the project? Daily, weekly, monthly?
Would you like those updates by email or a phone call?
What format would you like the final project in?
If I have questions, who should I talk to if the boss isn’t available?
Once you have the answers to these questions, restate what you’ve heard so you and your boss are on the same page, and ask if there’s anything else that should be added. If you want extra credit, email your boss a summary of what you spoke about, the deadlines, and how many milestones there are for the project. That way, between your list of questions and your email, you have plenty to refer back to so you can ask questions when you need to. Once the initial conversations are done, you can communicate with your boss according to what they need. This will prevent any miscommunications from happening and ensure that you have as much information as possible to work with.
Ask how you can improve your work for next time
This step is probably the easiest. When you turn in a piece of a project or the full project, put a message in asking your boss to let you know if you can make any changes or improvements to your work. That way you keep the lines of communication open and if you need to change anything, you can fix it right away. They’ll be impressed by your diligence and your attention to detail.
Don’t forget to say please and thank you!
We learn some of the most important skills in kindergarten. From reading to how to tie our shoes, the skills we learn at a young age are skills that we use for the rest of our lives. But one of the most important skills that can sometimes slip through the cracks when there’s a deadline to meet is manners. Saying “please,” “thank you,” and “have a great evening!” differentiates a good employee from a great employee. It shows polish, consideration for other people, and makes you appear easier to work with.
The daily grind can be stressful, and the rules are always changing, but communication, manners, and good questions are always welcome in every workplace. Cary Grant used to measure the lapels of his suit to the millimeter in order to make sure they were even. They say that “A thousand details add up to one impression.” If you follow these simple tips and pay attention to the little details, we’re sure that your boss will be impressed with your work.