Creating and nurturing a relationship with your boss isn’t always easy—and sometimes it’s actually harder when your boss is cool than when your boss is stuffy and formal, because it can be difficult to find where lines are drawn. Here are four guidelines to make your boss respect and love you, but in the most professional way possible.
1. Be nice to absolutely everyone. And I mean everyone. If you’re sweet to your superiors but a bitch to the cleaning crew or mean in the mail room, that will eventually get back to higher-ups and bite you in the butt. It’s not much to ask to expect you to be a compassionate, courteous human being.
2. Be willing to dive in to tasks outside your job title. If you whine, “That’s not my job,” you’re creating a self-fulfilling prophecy: It’s not your job right now, and it will never be your job, because your boss won’t trust you with extra responsibility or a promotion. If you’re constantly being asked to do work outside of your wheelhouse, speak up. But if it’s an emergency or just a much larger workload than your boss is used to, step up. She’ll be impressed as well as thankful.
3. Don’t be entitled. Seriously, no matter how great you are at your job, don’t even think about asking for a raise or promotion for at least a year. And when you finally do, have empirical data showing why you deserve more money, because numbers don’t lie … but people do.
4. Know that your boss is not your friend. Your boss may be fun and sweet and treat you on your birthday and come out to happy hour occasionally, but she is not your friend. Just because she likes you as a person doesn’t give you leeway to make inappropriate remarks nor should it lead you to think you don’t have to work as hard as you would if she hated your guts.