I’ve been blogging full time now for longer than I really care to remember, which means the only boss I have these days is myself. And, OK, the dog, but I’m not sure he counts…
In a past life, however, I managed a team of around 15 people in a busy call-centre, and in another, I was responsible for hiring and supervising freelance writers, both for my own websites and for other people’s, so today I thought I’d revive the much neglected ‘career’ category here at ShoeperWoman, with a post about some of the things I learned from my time as a “boss” …
Here are six things your boss wishes you knew…
01. THEIR BUSINESS IS THEIR BABY
It might be “just a job” to you, but to your boss, it’s so much more than than. This is particularly true if your manager is also the owner of the company, of course, but even if they’re not, chances are they take their role pretty seriously – and they expect you to do the same. No one expects you to care as much as the person who runs the company, obviously, but your boss still wants to feel like you CARE – and not just about your own career, but about the business as a whole.
02. RELIABILITY IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS TALENT
In fact, sometimes it can be even MORE important. When I managed writers for the website I edited, for instance, my biggest issue was trusting them to actually deliver the work they’d promised, when they promised it. Time after time, people would flake at the last minute, leaving me to pick up the slack, and cancel my plans in order to spend my evening writing articles that someone else was supposed to have completed (One other thing your boss wishes you knew: if you don’t do your job, they’re often the one who has to do it for you, even if takes all night). It didn’t take me long to come to the conclusion that reliability was every bit as important as talent: these days, if I had to choose between an amazing writer who I couldn’t rely on, or a decent writer who I knew I could trust, I’d go with the second option every time.
03. AS IS ATTITUDE
To continue with the example above, you could be the best worker in the entire world – but if your attitude stinks, then you’re not getting the job. We have to spend a lot of time with the people we work in, and we all want that time to be as pleasant, and as stress-free as possible. People who complain constantly, who are always in a bad mood, or who’re rude or abrasive can totally destroy the mood of an office or other work environment, and make it really tough for everyone else to do their job. No matter how talented you are (or think you are), be nice – it matters.
04. IT’S OK TO MAKE MISTAKES: IT’S HOW YOU DEAL WITH THEM THAT MATTERS
Sooner or later, you’re going to make a mistake: maybe even a big one. We all do: every single last one of us. Making mistakes is scary and awful, and when you realise what you’ve done, it can make you feel like your heart’s about to burst right out of your chest. It’s also human, however, and once the dust has settled, most people will be able to understand that, and to (hopefully) cut you some slack: because, chances are, they’ve made their share of stupid mistakes, too. The most important think about mistakes is how you deal with them afterwards: so own them, fix them, and learn from them -that’s all anyone can ask.
05. YOUR BOSS DOESN’T ALWAYS LIKE THE DECISIONS THEY HAVE TO MAKE EITHER
One of the hardest things about managing people is having to deliver bad news, or announce decisions you know will be unpopular. It’s even worse when you don’t agree with those decisions yourself, as often happens when they’re made “higher up”, but you’re the one who has to implement them. At those times, it’s understandable that people will want to shoot the messenger: what your boss wishes you knew is that they’re on your side (even although you might not think it), and probably did their best to try to avoid whatever it is that’s happening.
06. NO ONE LIKES MICROMANAGEMENT – NOT EVEN YOUR BOSS
We’ve all encountered that one boss who just can’t seem to let you get on with things, haven’t we? You know, the one who’s constantly hanging over your shoulder, giving you advice, or asking what you’re up to? Sometimes this can be a personality thing, of course, but other times you’ll find your boss is babysitting you for a reason – the reason being that they think you need it. If this is the case, then trust me: your manager isn’t enjoying this particular element of managing either, so the best thing you can do is to earn their trust by showing them you don’t need them to hold your hand. One of the things I appreciated most in my time as a manager was when colleagues would take the initiative, and do whatever needed to be done, without having to be asked. I’m not suggesting you should step outside the remit of your job, obviously, or attempt something you don’t really know how to do – that might just cause more harm than good! – but having someone say, “It’s OK, I’ve got this” is one of the best feelings ever, so don’t be afraid to step up and show some initiative!