How to amaze the boss

Succession planning is all the rage – so don’t leave it until just before your appraisal before raising your game, says Calum Robson

Outperforming is about more than just doing your job well. It’s also important to be seen pitching in, so that your promotion is greeted with approval, not astonishment.

Act as the boss

If you’re the sort of person who always wants more responsibility, why not do it by stealth? Many bosses avoid delegating work, not because they’re power-hungry egotists but because they worry the job won’t be done well by anyone else. Prove them wrong. Identify tasks you could take on without mishap but which would lighten your boss’s load.

Answer calls on your boss’s behalf when they’re out – instead of taking messages, ask what the caller wants – remember, most people naturally ask for the top person, even with the most trivial requests. If it’s something you’re confident you can accomplish yourself, go for it. Don’t forget to make your boss aware later, through a cc’d e-mail or a well-placed Post-It note. You’ll find this will become habit-forming – for you, your boss, and your boss’s callers.

Go the extra mile

Find something new to do every day. It could be calling a colleague you’ve only ever exchanged e-mails with. Offer yourself as a mentor to a younger or more junior colleague. Ask your boss if you can help put together an internal workshop on something you’re particularly hot on – using a new system or more fully exploiting your team’s software (most people use only a fraction of any software functionality).

By brimming with enthusiasm and energy, it won’t be long before you’re spotted as someone who’s ‘up-and-coming’. Soon you won’t need to find new things to do – your employer will be finding them for you – and paying you handsomely. 


"Outperforming is about more than just doing your job well"