New Boss, New Strategy

Undoubtedly, most of us have gone through some kind of transition with our supervisors. Perhaps the person was recruited away to another company or maybe there was a merger and they got reassigned to another department.

Whatever the reason, something important has been lost.  When your boss leaves, they take with them that person’s knowledge of your contributions, skills, knowledge, and expertise.

And a new boss means a completely blank slate.

Your new job is to get to know them, ASAP.  If you don’t take the time to build rapport, it could have deadly consequences to your career.

The reason? 

If they don’t know your value, they could make decisions that don’t factor you in as a valuable asset.

Try using these four tips to build a connection to a new boss:

1) Speak up in meetings.  If you are always in the background, now is the time to jump in. If you aren’t seen as an active participant on the team, this could be a red flag to a boss who might be surveying the landscape for potential house cleaning later.  Be a positive contributor.

2) Set up a one-on-one meeting. If the boss has not done so already, set up a time to meet with them to provide an overview of your work and to allow them to get to know you better.  Building connections will also help you both assess your working styles to figure out how you will be able to communicate best.  This can lay the ground work for a great collaborative work relationship.

3) Provide regular updates.  You don’t need to be a classic ‘brown-noser’ but proactively providing updates on project status or other work you are conducting is one less question or request that the boss has to make.  If you reliably turn in work or reports on-time and in an organized fashion, you’ll be perceived as professional and as the department standard.

4) Empower, Educate, and Engage.   New bosses don’t necessarily want to admit that they are behind the learning curve in getting acclimated to a new company or division.  They are struggling to get caught up with priorities, challenges, and opportunities, while trying to get to know the team that will take them there.  Be willing to share in a helpful way to give the new boss the knowledge and tools to get them up to speed as soon as possible.  You could gain a very powerful career advocate as a result.

If you build a reputation as a helpful, friendly resource who is competent in your work and an engaged member of the team, your new boss will see you as an important asset and include you in key projects and potential promotions.