Let’s not just call it sucking up or playing teacher’s pet when you want to get that promotion or a heavier paycheck. We’ll call it smart strategy to get that mean old skinflint to dance to your tune.
1. Be cheerful and cooperative. That sounds so basic, it shouldn’t have to be said. However, many employees have been so brainwashed by the anti-social norms crammed into their young skulls since they were teens, they bring that snotty, rebellious attitude to work with them.
They believe a smile shows weakness, and any sign of cooperation is giving in to the capitalist enemy. If that’s your lousy attitude, quit, pick up a sign and go protest march somewhere. If you want to impress your boss, do your job with your best efforts and a positive attitude.
2. Show up on time. Forget excuses that the alarm clock was broken or the freeway traffic was jammed. Whatever it takes, be there when you’re supposed to be there. The boss is sure to notice that you’re reliable and have a keen sense of responsibility.
3. Think before you do something that could get you into trouble with your boss. If you and some pals decide to take a two-hour lunch break, you should realize the boss won’t like it. If the boss calls a meeting and throughout the session, you sit in the back dozing off or schmoozing with others, you can expect some flak from the boss.
4. Always look for ways to improve your knowledge and performance. Do some heavy and ongoing homework about your company, its history, products/services and employee structure. When the boss questions you about any of those factors, you’ll be able to speak with intelligence and knowledge. Your smarts and initiative will certainly impress the boss.
5. If you’re required to work with others on projects or specific assignments, show by example that you’re the best member of the team. You don’t need to lord it over everyone else, just impress your boss that you’re the most productive and reliable in the gang. This could bug the hell out of all the other ambitious characters, but just do your job and you’ll be sure to shine to the people who count.
6. If you work for a big company, a major government agency or are in the Armed Forces, you must show respect for rank. They all have very strict pecking orders, and you may not like saluting a kid right out of college who outranks you. However, if you want to impress the higher brass, you play the game and work within the system, complete with all of its bothersome rituals and traditions. You don’t have to grovel and demean yourself, but if you can’t handle that kind of career, get the hell out of the outfit.
7. Show consideration for those people in lower jobs. Your boss may like the results when you use the abusive Captain Bligh approach to dealing with people, but may think that’s as far as a rat like you should go in the company. If you’re the boss of some people, do it with fairness, as well as with firmness, and you may be heading for higher rank and more dough.
8. Apply some everyday kindness. No matter how seriously you take your job, try being a regular guy. At lunch and coffee breaks, join in on the conversations. If someone at work needs some advice, be there to offer your help. If someone does you a favor, return it with a bunch of flowers, a box of candy or homemade cookies. Your boss will see how you interact with people successfully, and think of you when the next promotion opens up.
9. Yeah, yeah. We know there’s no such thing as a strict dress code any more, and we don’t have to show up for work all buttoned down in conservative Wall Street duds. Even if that casualness is true on your job, you’ll impress your boss when you show up all neat and businesslike. Sure, on weekends you can dye your hair green, hang jewelry from all your body parts and wear Elton John glasses. But on Monday morning, you show up looking like you’re ready to work, not to party or toke around at a rock concert.
10. Assert yourself with your boss and other VIPs, but keep it respectful and understanding. You’re ambitious and are working for more income and higher rank, so you must strike a balance between obedience and ambition. It won’t be easy, but if you do it right, some day you’ll be the boss everyone else is trying to please.