9 Things To Do Daily If You Want To Impress

9 Little Things To Do Every Day If You Want To Impress Your Boss

This is an avatar image of the blog author Tanya Dunbabin

Refining the art to impress your boss early in your career can bring awe, fantastic first impressions, and a reputation that no new grad normally has. And then the support that this Supervisor will provide you will extend no end.  Want this? Read on. 

But first, before we continue, you need to make a decision.  Now I need you to stop your multitasking and focus completely.  This is the part where I need your absolute and full attention. How much do you want it? This is the question you need to ask yourself deeply within.  Life within law is not easy, otherwise everyone would do it. When you graduate with a law degree from a top university, you have worked so hard to build a theoretical foundation of knowledge, however it is the people you work with in your first clerkship, internship position or law graduate position that teach you the practical elements of life in law.  But for them to really ‘teach’ you, they need to something in return. They need to know you are ‘truly’ invested. That you are really trying, exerting yourself, pushing yourself to learn, development and evolve, that you are learning from each and every of those mistakes you make. That you support their teaching style (and there are time where you may not enjoy it, or even feel it is fair) but you are not out there bitching off about them, their practice group, team or work at the first instance you get.  

Your boss needs to know that you are invested in the firm and in them.  It is through little steps that this is noticed and your strong reputation is built.

So below is some of the tips I share with those starting out in their legal career, wanting to make a good impression with enthusiasm:   

  1. Pre-empt a need that they have daily.  This will require you to be alert to watch, engage in a discussion or a discover a topic you both enjoy to have a dialogue on.  It may even be noting the time they arrive or normally leave at the end of the day and ensuring your work is prepared in preparation of this.  

  2. Draw their attention to articles that you read in the press that may be relevant to a client they are speaking to that day.

  3. Ensure you know the deadline they require items from you and always, always deliver them earlier than required.  They aim to do this with clients, so this is no different for you. Your supervisor is in fact your client.

  4. Ensure you have proofread your work thoroughly.  Nothing more annoying than poor spelling, grammar or attention to detail.  Whilst you are learning the content, control what you can control - and this is something you can control.   

  5. Give thought to your outstanding tasks before leaving for the day, draw up a to do list and ensure the outstanding items are given priority the next day. This shows your organisation skills and gives comfort to seniors that you are on top of your workload.  It also helps you to be aware of your own capacity and to be able to engage in a conversation with ease about it if required.

  6. Always ask if there is anything further to do before leaving for the day.  You will find the answer to this question most often is no, but there will be times when your supervisor will need you for a small task or a large one, and will be extremely appreciative of your proactive nature.  

  7. If you are asked to stay back and help, bring enthusiasm.  No-one wants to be there late, but if you have to be, you want to be with people that make it fun and pleasant.  Be sure to contribute that at least.

  8. Whenever your boss wants to see you, bring a notepad/Ipad etc.  Something to take down instructions, hatch a plan or develop concepts together.  

  9. Be sure to check the diary of you and your boss each afternoon, for the next day.  You may spot a meeting which triggers you to ask ‘if X needs to be prepared for tomorrow’s meeting with Y?’ or remind you to ensure the documentation or presentation is ready.  It also just helps you to understand the type of day your supervisor is likely to have, how available they will be and ways in which you can assist.

By taking steps to impress your boss, you will prove that you are present, active and invested in your future, theirs and their practice.  It demonstrates you as forward thinking individual who wants to make a difference to the organisation and your own career. This in turn will only mean great things for you - greater responsibility, an accelerated learning trajectory, being exposed to others within the firm and opportunities, all of which goes to building a strong reputation for you and your work.  If nothing else, you will likely develop a more focussed relationship with your boss, who is in fact your own brand advocate. Not many give thought to the fact that your Partner is your brand advocate - they speak for your performance to others, they promote you and your work if they are seeing a stellar performance, or they promote you poorly if they are underwhelmed by your output. Only you can influence this via your performance firstly, and your enthusiasm and passion, so be committed, get feedback on your performance and work towards impressing your supervisor daily.

If you have something that should feature in this list, I’d love to hear what it is and how it’s working for you. Get in touch and let’s continue the conversation !