How to Manage Your Supervisor to Enhance Your Career Prospects

If your manager, supervisor, or boss likes the way you perform, he or she has the power to recommend you for promotions and to reward you with bonuses or pay increases. On the other hand, they can pass you by, giving opportunities to others, and even plan your exit from the company if they feel you aren’t a fit. Managing your boss is an important skill in the modern workplace for these reasons. The following tips will help you to maintain a positive working relationship with your supervisor and enhance your prospects for future career advancement.

Understand what they want. Do you really understand what your boss wants from you? Their own strengths and weaknesses may influence this. For example, if your supervisor is great at selling but poor at administration, he or she may expect you to sort the details of deals for them. Being able to anticipate what your supervisor really wants from you can put you ahead of others when it comes to promotion opportunities.

Develop a reputation for being reliable. You may not be the most creative or innovative employee, but if you deliver on time and do what you say you will, you’ll score big points with most supervisors. Arrive to meetings on time, deliver your work by the requested deadlines, and volunteer to take on more if you have the capacity. Keep up this integrity, and you’ll earn a solid reputation.

Communicate regularly. Keeping your boss in the loop can help to avoid nasty surprises and embarrassment. Decide with your supervisor on how often you should offer updates and report on progress for current targets and plans. A quick phone call or email may be enough, but a more formal report may be needed in some situations.

Respect confidential information and your peers. Developing a reputation as a gossip can destroy your career. If your boss shares something confidential with you, don’t be tempted to pass it on to others. This applies to information sensitive to your business, and extends to gossiping about staff, the performance of co-workers, and anything else personal. People will lose trust in you quickly if you don’t respect confidentiality.

Provide solutions not problems. Things don’t always run smoothly in the workplace. Moaning and complaining doesn’t help. Try to look for and offer solutions to problems rather than developing a reputation as a complainer. Going to your supervisor with ideas to fix a problem before he or she knows there is one can make you an invaluable member of the team.

Maintaining positive professional relationships with all of your peers is important. Using these tips for managing your relationship with your boss can impact your bottom line, making it a valuable part of your career development. Do you have additional tips? Share them in the comments below!

About Charlotte Weeks - Executive Career Coach / Executive Resume Writer / Outplacement Consultant

Prior to founding Weeks Career Services, Inc. Charlotte Weeks worked in human resources at a national association, where she experienced the hiring process from the other side. She's also the past president of The National Resume Writers' Association (The NRWA). Charlotte specializes in providing C-level executives (CEO, CFO, CMO, etc.), association executives, executive directors and senior-level professionals (director, VP, SVP, etc.) with comprehensive career coaching services and high-ROI resumes. She is author of "I Want a Job in an Association -- Now What?? A Guide to Getting a Job in a Professional Association, Membership Organization, or Society" and featured author of "101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career." Additional book contributions include "The Twitter Job Search Guide," "Resumes That Pop!," and "Step-by-Step Cover Letters." As an internationally-recognized expert, Charlotte provides programs and documents tailored to each individual’s needs. To ensure that each person is given the highest quality of attention and service, Charlotte works with a limited number of new clients each month.
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