These days, there is a lot of upheaval in the workplace. Be it layoffs, reorganization or people taking other positions, there's a good chance you may be reporting to a different person than you were just a few months ago. The relationship with your supervisor can have a great impact on your career, so starting off on the right foot with a new boss is critical. Following are a few tips for doing so:
1. Help out where you can.
Starting a new position is challenging for everyone, even your boss. Remember what it was like when you were a new employee, including the times you could have used someone's help. Discuss any pending projects and who is currently responsible for those initiatives. Also provide information about any upcoming deadlines.
2. Remain flexible.
Your new boss will have his or her own ideas of how to run the office and accomplish team goals, and you should be ready for the possibility that some of those ideas may conflict with your own. But keep an open mind; different doesn't mean worse. Be willing to try new approaches.
3. Aim to be a go-to person.
Your new supervisor will face many challenges in the first few months, so he or she will be looking for employees who can help pick up the slack. Let your manager know what you've accomplished in the past and what skills you possess, and offer to be a resource on future projects. Be sure to mention talents that might fall outside your job description, such as your familiarity with a new software program. The more you can contribute, the more valuable you'll be considered by your employer. Just don't go overboard, or others, including the new manager, may perceive you as currying favour.
4. Remember that patience is a virtue.
You likely took a few months to feel comfortable when you started your job, so it's safe to assume the same will be true for your manager. For instance, if your boss wants you to provide twice-weekly updates, it's probably not because he or she doesn't trust that you're getting your work done. Instead, your supervisor likely wants to make sure he or she doesn't let anything slip through the cracks.
5. Pay attention.
Get a feel for how your boss works. Does your manager want to be in the loop on each and every project, or does your boss have a more hands-off approach? What is his or her preferred method of communication? When is it best to approach your supervisor with non-pressing requests? These questions may not be answered immediately, but by paying attention to your boss's tendencies and preferences, you'll form a productive relationship more quickly.
Remember, not only are you getting used to your new manager, but he or she is also getting used to you and, in many cases, a new work environment. So, don't be surprised if both of you have your fair share of growing pains. Being empathetic to your supervisor's experience will go a long way in developing a strong working relationship with him or her.
Robert Half International Inc. is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 360 offices worldwide. For more information about our professional services, please visit www.rhi.com.