Ten Simple Ways to Make Your Boss Think You’re Brilliant

Whether it is for a pay raise, a promotion, a great reference, or just
a cubicle with a window, we all want to impress our boss at work. In
tough economic times, we might just be trying to avoid being first in
line for a pink slip. But honestly, do you really want to put in extra
unpaid hours, potentially work weekends, and break your Facebook and
Twitter habits?

Sure, it’s a means to an end and everyone has to
go above and beyond when needed. However, wouldn’t it be nice to have a
little help along the way? Here are ten simple, no-effort ways that will make your boss think you’re both indispensable and brilliant:

  1. Beat the Clock
    bosses are pretty consistent on the time they get into your office.
    Take note. If yours always arrives at 7.50 – get there at 7.45
    (even if your official start time is 8).

    Bonus to you:
    Arriving earlier than the boss makes you look keen and eager. Plus,
    when you’re skiving on Twitter or Facebook later in the day, you
    can justify it to yourself by those 15 extra minutes in the morning.

  2. Say “Good Morning!”
    hungover, knackered or grumpy you’re feeling first thing in the
    morning, plaster a great big smile on your face and say, “Good
    Morning!” to your boss.

    Bonus to you:
    Two friendly words can go a long way in putting you in your
    boss’s good books first thing in the day. And (if you’re
    following the first tip), your boss will know you’re in the
    office bright and early.

  3. Volunteer Strategically
    you’re in a meeting and someone asks for volunteers, be the first
    to put your hand up. That way, you’ll look keen and engaged. This
    will be a tough one to swallow if your workload is already jammed but
    volunteering for the right, high visibility project can increase the
    perception of you.

    Bonus to you:
    You’ll ­­get the task you want (i.e. the one with least
    effort but highest visibility) and not get lumbered with what the boss
    assigns you.

  4. Be the Printer Guru
    if it’s nothing at all to do with your job description, learn
    where the spare ink/toner is kept and how to fit it. When there’s
    a paper jam or error, get someone to show you what to do.

    Bonus to you:
    When your boss is running around in a flap before a big meeting,
    you’ll be the hero who fixes his
    very-important-report-won’t-print crisis.

  5. Say “Thanks”
    given a pay raise, promotion or extra day’s holiday – or
    even just some of your boss’s valuable time and advice? Make sure
    you say “thanks”. If possible, thank him/her at the time,
    and follow up with a short note to express your appreciation.

    Bonus to you:
    It takes ten minutes of your time and perhaps a couple of dollars to
    buy a “Thank You” card for your boss. If you feel strange
    with this one because a man giving a man a card is out of the norm,
    just send an email. In the end, it’s the thought that really counts
    here. Guess who’ll be first on his mind when the next round of
    pay-raises comes along?

  6. Make Coffee
    This will make most of the people in the office like you, not just your boss. However for you boss, occasionally
    take a minute to say “I’m just making myself a coffee, can
    I get you one?” (doing so multiple times per day will have the
    opposite effect as you’re labeled as a brown-noser).

    Bonus to you:
    For virtually zero effort, you give your boss the impression that
    you’re a considerate, friendly employee who cares about him/her
    – bosses often feel unloved.

  7. Use The Right Jargon
    extra-close attention to the buzzwords that your boss uses. Drop these
    into the things you say at meetings, and into your emails. This
    isn’t a chance to play buzzword bingo – what you want to
    demonstrate is that you’re on the same wavelength as your boss.

    Bonus to you:
    Sometimes you can get away with something with just the right words.
    You’re not filing your emails for lack of anything better to do
    – you’re “implementing new communication management
    protocols to further the client-company relationship”.

  8. Create Procedures
    related to using the right buzzwords is creating the right procedures
    – that is, any which get you out of hot water. If something goes
    pear-shaped at work, explain that it was “due to a procedural
    error” or “a fault in the procedure”. Then, try to
    correct the process.

    Bonus to you:
    Explaining that the same mistake can’t possibly happen again
    “once I’ve changed the procedure” makes your boss
    think you’re on top of everything. Even when you so, so

  9. Leave An Email Trail
    you’re ever working from home, a cunning way to demonstrate how
    many hours you’re (supposedly) putting in is to make sure that
    your boss is the recipient of, or copied in to, at least one of your
    emails first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

    Bonus to you:
    Your boss will think you’ve been hard at work between that first
    email at 7.30am and that last one at 9.00pm. You actually sent that
    first email in your jammies (and went straight back to bed), then took
    the afternoon off to catch a movie…

  10. Fake Enthusiasm
    if your job is as dry as dust, fake enthusiasm wherever possible.
    Plaster a big smile on your face and wave your hands around when
    enthusing to customers or colleagues about your company.

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