5 Tips to Impress Your Boss from Crystal Palecek
January 10, 2014
TipsAdviceAt Work
Out of all the "5 tips" we've posted thus far, these tips on impressing your boss is my favorite. Because for most of us, there's a solid chance we all have a boss of your own. And if you do have a boss of your own, I'm sure you've found yourself wondering what it is that you could be doing to truly impress. Crystal Palecek, founder + editor in chief of Rue Magazine, and boss-woman to a handful of talented ladies, is helping us all put those questions to rest!
From Crystal...We all crave to make it far in our careers. After all, if you're reading this, chances are you're a driven, ambitious gal who wants to make the most of her talents and passion. If we're blessed with good managers in the workplace, then they help empower us in achieving this aim, recognizing us for our contributions along the way. Other times, however, we're required to take matters into our own hands and think about working right instead of more in order to really make our mark at the office.

I've had the great privilege of managing various teams since launching Rue almost four years ago. Each team member I've worked with has had their own unique work style, and in turn has taught me a tremendous amount (strengths and weakness, included!) about leading different personality types. Through observing my teammates - don't forget, a boss is always observing! - I've identified some common threads on what makes an employee really stand out and shine. Thankfully, I have a stellar team at Rue, which makes my job such a pleasure! Whether your goal is to climb the proverbial ladder or to simply solidify your place within in your company, I've identified five sure-fire ways to impress your boss.

Your boss has most likely hired you because they need help with a demanding workload. Ideally, you should be taking things off of their plate, not adding to it. One way you can help is by reducing the amount of time they spend managing you by taking initiative and being resourceful. If you don't know how to do something, ask a fellow teammate before going to your boss. Not only will this save your boss time, it'll also help foster a company culture of teamwork, a win-win in your boss's eyes! Also, be sure to hold yourself accountable to deadlines and save your boss the time it would take to chase you down for completed work and assignments. Lastly, anticipate your boss's needs before they even have to ask. I'll never forget the day we launched Rue Daily last January and our associate editor, Kelli, came up to me and said: "I went through every page on the site, tested each link, and created a google doc with a few errors we overlooked and will need to correct." I didn't have the time to do this myself and before I even had to ask, Kelli anticipated a need and took initiative to finding a solution.

It's likely that your boss is preoccupied with thinking about big picture items for the company and doesn't have the bandwidth to dedicate a lot of time to smaller tasks. Whether it's remembering to start the morning pot of coffee in the break room each morning or offering to place an order for thank you cards when you noticed stock is low, your boss will appreciate knowing someone on the team is watching out for the details. Rue's marketing associate, Kat, always seems to be the one who remembers to send out our annual reader survey at just the right time. And I love that about her!

This one might sounds a little strange at first, but imitating your boss's work style is one of the best ways to show her you're both on the same wavelength. For example, does she prefer to communicate over the phone or email, keep emails short and sweet or long and detailed, hold meetings in the mornings or afternoons, etc. At Rue, we mostly work remotely and because of that, I rely heavily on iMessages to communicate with my team virtually. They know, for example, that I prefer to communicate that way best when we're not together physically and sign on from 9am - 6pm, just like I do. The truth is, most of us tend to be drawn towards people that are most like us, so aim to give your boss what she wants in the format she would have presented it herself. Our web coordinator, Candace and graphic designer, Julie, are both great at this. They're highly organized and detail oriented and present their work to me in that way, knowing I also place great value on those traits.

Be the best part of your boss's day and say "yes" to all projects and tasks she sends your way. Sure, we're already overworked and have full plates to begin with, but the extra dedication it takes to complete bonus tasks will prove your loyalty and commitment to your boss and really showcase that amazing work ethic of yours. She'll view you as an indispensable asset to the company, securing your place within the team, and have your back when you need it most. Always remember to ask your boss, "What can I do this week for you?" We're currently working on an exciting new brand extension at Rue that requires a lot of time and effort to develop. Our style editor, Victoria, had expressed interest in this type of project to me in the past, so I pegged her to help drive the initiative forward. Without skipping a beat, she said "yes" and has been working diligently on laying the ground work for it in addition to her regular tasks. Now that's a true team player!

This is such an important one! A bad attitude on a team is like a toxic poison running through the foundation of the company and usually won't be tolerated. I've worked with these types of people before and then, thankfully, their polar opposites. Take it from me, different attitudes can turn a horrible work environment into an easy, happy, fun place to be virtually overnight! After learning that lesson, I'll never let talent trump attitude when hiring again. Our colleagues become our second families as we spend countless hours working together. Make it a priority to put your best foot forward while at work. That means checking complaints, diva behavior, and manipulation at the door. In the wise words of Oprah, remember: "You are responsible for the energy that you bring to others. Take responsibility for the energy you bring into a space." Rue's art director Maia and I often have to work late into the midnight hours when putting the final touches on a new issue. I'm always so impressed by the pleasant attitude she keeps- even when I know we're both absolutely exhausted. Those are the types of people your boss, and everyone else for that matter, wants to be surrounded by when stresses and stakes are high. Be easy to be around and you'll be a breath of fresh air to everyone in the office!


Before we let you go, we pulled the winner of our HUGE Lookmatic Giveaway and I'm excited to announce that four pair of lenses AND an iPad Mini are coming Cassandra Dexter's way! Congrats my dear. Thanks for playing you guys. XOXO!