10 Ways to impress your boss

Dec 11, 2012 at 12:14 p.m. ET

Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, most employees strive to impress their bosses whenever possible. From baking cookies to inviting them to your holiday party, there's no limit to what employees will do to get noticed.

How to impress your boss this new year
Woman meeting with boss


Arrive early

Punctuality says a lot about a person. So often we begin a job making a great impression by arriving at least 15 minutes early to our interview. But after getting settled into the routine of a job, it's easy to let certain things, like timeliness, slip through the cracks. Impress your boss by arriving early. Not only will he or she take notice, but you'll love how much more work you can get done with that extra time.


Be assertive

Impress your boss with your leadership skills. Instead of waiting for an assignment to come to you, be proactive. Raise your hand and ask a question in your next meeting with your boss and team. Your boss will appreciate your effort and confidence.

For more tips on being a leader in your career, check out this article >>


Challenge them

Yes, they're your boss, but that doesn't mean you can't question them in a respectful way. Don't be afraid to play devil's advocate in order to make the most of your brainstorming session. Keep in mind your boss hired you because he or she respected you and your skills.


Go the extra mile

Now, we're not suggesting you kiss up to your boss, but a little extra effort goes a long way. Ask him if he'd like a coffee since you're running out anyway. Stay late one night to make sure her presentation is perfect. Simple gestures will demonstrate your loyalty and dedication to your boss and to the company.


Take one for the team

Nobody wants to attend a weekend trade show, right?! But it's not like you do it all the time either. Step up and be a team player whenever possible. Your boss will appreciate your effort and positive attitude.


Think outside the box

If everyone always agreed with the boss, there wouldn't be much room for creativity and advancement. Go ahead and impress your boss by sharing all of your ideas, even the crazy ones! He or she will get a kick out of thinking outside the box for a change. Who knows, you just may spark a new trend!


Learn a new skill

Showing interest in new work skills demonstrates to your boss that you care about your job and about the quality of work you produce. Aim to take one or two new classes each year in order to continue growing as an employee and team member.


Be the bigger person

As tough as it is, do your best not to give in to the temptation of office gossip. Your boss will appreciate your self-censoring and respect for the feelings of your co-workers.


Dress the part

Impress your boss by dressing in a professional, yet chic wardrobe. Consult your employee handbook if you have any questions about what's deemed appropriate attire. Rule of thumb: If you have to ask, it's probably not office-ready!

Your actions also speak loudly. In fact, a good handshake is essential to career success. Read all about the perfect handshake here >>



Sometimes your boss simply needs you to listen. Do your best to back off from asking too many questions and practice being a good listener. He or she will enjoy venting, and you'll appreciate gaining insight into his or her world.

Speaking of chats with the boss, what do you call your boss? Check out office etiquette here >>

More tips for career advancement

Career women: Mentor your way to success
6 Ways to be a leader in your career
Dressing for future success: Getting that promotion or raise