The dos and don’ts of mak­ing your­self look good.

Shape (Singapore) - - November 2018 -

Syou want to im­press your su­per­vi­sor with­out be­ing a suck-up? Join the club. We get the low-down from Sher­lyn, a man­ager with 10 years of ex­pe­ri­ence, on the dos and don’ts of mak­ing your­self look good in front of your boss.

1 Dress ap­pro­pri­ately

Looks aren’t ev­ery­thing, but they def­i­nitely mat­ter when it comes to how you present your­self at work. A pol­ished ap­pear­ance is a sign that you care about the de­tails, and your boss will ap­pre­ci­ate this. If you work at a fash­ion com­pany, be con­scious, too, of the brands you buy your clothes from – you don’t want to show up in ap­parel from a com­peti­tor brand.

2 Ar­rive early at the of­fice

Be­ing on time is the new “late”. When em­ploy­ees ar­rive on time, it can slow ev­ery­thing else down; there’s a set­tling-in pe­riod where you show up, say hello to col­leagues, go to the bath­room, fix your­self a cup of cof­fee, surf the web… then sud­denly, half an hour has gone by. Show­ing up early gives you time to set­tle down, which means you’re ac­tu­ally ready to work when the clock hits 9am.

3 Speak with in­ten­tion

Be di­rect in­stead of beat­ing around the bush. Man­agers are busy peo­ple, and they don’t have time to go back and forth. If you have some­thing to say, plan your speech, and once you speak, get straight to the point. The key is to make it rel­e­vant and make it quick.

4 Stay fo­cused

You’d be sur­prised at the num­ber of peo­ple who use of­fice hours to com­plete non-work-re­lated tasks. The com­pany pays you to do your job, so do­ing any­thing else (in­clud­ing trawl­ing through In­sta­gram at your desk) is a big no – it doesn’t look good on you if you’re caught.

5 Fol­low up

If you’ve sub­mit­ted a re­port or as­sisted on a project, fol­low up by ask­ing how the work is com­ing along, even if your in­put is no longer re­quired. This shows that you value your con­tri­bu­tion and put ef­fort into the work that you’ve done.

6 Take ini­tia­tive

Help out on new tasks – even those that don’t fall un­der your of­fi­cial job scope. This shows an adapt­abil­ity and will­ing­ness to grow on your part. “I once had an em­ployee from the mar­ket­ing depart­ment ask to sit in on fi­nance meet­ings be­cause she wanted to learn about how money was man­aged within the com­pany and how the mar­ket­ing depart­ment could im­pact the bot­tom line,” shares Sher­lyn.

7 Bring so­lu­tions, not just prob­lems

If you’re flag­ging an is­sue to your boss, go pre­pared with sev­eral ways to re­solve it. Even if your sug­ges­tions aren’t put to use, it shows that you’ve thought about the sit­u­a­tion and took steps to try to fix it, rather than sim­ply pass the prob­lem off to some­one else. Of­fer­ing so­lu­tions is re­spon­si­bil­ity at its finest.

8 When it comes to im­por­tant tasks, don’t fake it till you make… a mis­take

If you’re as­signed some­thing but don’t quite know how to get to the end goal, save ev­ery­one time and be hon­est about what you don’t know. Don’t go full steam ahead – your boss would def­i­nitely much rather take five min­utes to ex­plain some­thing than spend five hours try­ing to cor­rect a mis­take.

9 Re­mind your boss why you were hired

No boss wants to feel as if he or she hired the wrong per­son for the job, so make sure that your work is a con­stant re­minder of why they hired you in the first place. Think cre­atively and out­side the box, and don’t be afraid to speak up if you have a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.

10 Be adapt­able

Bosses ap­pre­ci­ate em­ploy­ees who have a di­verse skill set and are ready to tackle any­thing that comes their way, even if it means oc­ca­sion­ally stay­ing late or step­ping out of their com­fort zones. Sher­lyn shares that her most valu­able em­ploy­ees are the ones who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. An ex­am­ple: Plan­ning a glam­orous event is one thing, but ac­tu­ally work­ing the party and at­tend­ing to guests is an en­tirely dif­fer­ent mat­ter – bosses want an em­ployee who can do both com­fort­ably.

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