Today’s episode is about ways to help your boss help you in your career. These are easy suggestions. And when you follow them, you’ll notice a big payback.
As you know your bosses can have a lot of influence on your career. It only makes sense to help them out so that they can serve you better.
I’m gonna share with you 3 general ways to help your boss help you: provide proactive input, give lead time, and offer to make their job easier. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
3 Ways to Help Your Boss Help You in Your Engineering Career
- Provide Proactive Input – This means, instead of waiting for your boss to open the discussion and bring all the ideas, offer some of your own.
For example, you can provide your own assessment prior to your performance review. You can provide a detailed outline for your upcoming career conversation. When asking your boss for a decision, you can provide some of your own options.
Providing proactive input helps you because it shows your self-motivation, ideation, and engagement. It prepares your boss so your conversations are more meaningful and fruitful. It helps you get what you want, reach solutions quicker, and get better recommendations.
By providing proactive input you’re more likely to have outcomes in your favor.
- Give Lead Time – This means for every request you make of your boss, give them time to get back to you. It means not waiting until the last minute to make your request, and instead providing a more reasonable timeframe for a response.
Giving lead time helps you because it shows respect for your boss’s time. It highlights your ability to plan and prioritize. Furthermore it allows your boss the time to consult with others and put more thought into their response.
By giving lead time you’re likely to get a higher quality outcome.
- Offer to Make Your Boss’s Job Easier – This means volunteering to take something off your boss’s plate.
For example, you can offer to “take on a topic” that needs researching or follow up on an unexpected issue. You can offer to fill in at a meeting or event when your boss is double-booked. Or you can offer to help out with a new hire or intern.
Offering this kind of help helps you because you get the experience of doing part of your boss’s job. You get good visibility and a feel for what the next level is like. And it’s a way to show your skills and strengths.
More importantly it shows your respect for the big picture and what the team is trying to accomplish as a whole. It shows your potential and your professionalism.
That’s it – 3 ways to help your boss help you in your career: provide proactive input, give lead time, and offer to make your boss’s job easier.
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Give the Gift of a Reminder
Before we close I have one more tip. One more thing you can do to help your boss help you is to give the gift of a reminder
Remind your boss about meeting with you. And what you talked about last time. Remind your boss about things like what your capabilities and priorities are, what your home situation is, and what you’re willing to do. It doesn’t take much on your part, but it can be a huge help.
Bosses are busy. You know what it’s like to have so much going on at once. Reminders are valuable. Giving the gift of a reminder not only eases the stress of hectic schedules, but it keeps you on the radar and on the priority list.
The relationship between you and your boss is 2-way. It’s easy to think that bosses have all the answers. That they’re experts at managing people. That they know what’s best for you and what’s next for you.
But that just isn’t always the case.
Help them help you. Provide proactive input, give lead time, offer to make their jobs easier, and give the gift of a reminder. So that you can help them serve you better.
Next time on Her Engineering Career Podcast our topic is new year’s resolutions and using them to set yourself up for career success. Be sure to tune in for Episode 32.