After I got a promotion earlier this year at Search Engine Journal, I became a manager of a few people, all of which I had an equal footing on with before. It’s definitely been a transition. As a manager, it’s taken me some time to evaluate not only what I want to be as a boss, but what I hope the people that I manage know not only about me, but about themselves. I think the mark of a good manager is helping your employees be better people.
That being said, here’s some things I hope that the great people I work with (and everyone else there) knows when it comes to self improvement. People who are happy with their lives (and their work) definitely make better co-workers!
- It’s OK to Take Time Off: PLEASE take time off if you have vacation time. If you are self-employed, PLEASE work it into your schedule to take a few weeks off (or more!) during the year. It makes you such a better person and a better worker too. It can help deflect burnout and give you inspiration for your projects in the office.
- I Want You to Read Non-Fiction: There’s something so magical about novels. Besides allowing you to transport your brain to another place for a while, studies have shown they can also increase your language skills, making you a much better employee as well.
- Don’t Keep Something That’s Bothering You Inside: I think a lot of times, employees are scared to speak out about something that bothers them because they don’t want to rock the boat. As someone who has been on both sides of the boss-employee coin, I would say it’s definitely worth it speak it. Not only does it help you portray and learn confidence, it also helps you and your boss have a more open and honest relationship. That’s something any workplace should have as their top priority.
- Not Everyday is a Good Day: It’s okay to hate your boss (and/or your job) some days. Everyone has occasional bad days where there is nothing you’d rather do then go home and go back to bed. However, when you start having multiple days in a row where you feel like that, for a long period of time, it’s time to go to #3, or to even consider looking for another job.
- You Don’t Have to Like Everyone: Similar to #4, but this is definitely something that took me a really long time to learn. Just because you work with someone, it doesn’t mean you have to like them or even necessarily be your friend. It’s a fact of human nature that we all aren’t meant to be friends with every person we meet. While it’s helpful to always be professional and courteous, your boss shouldn’t fault you for not going to happy hours with everyone who asks. Knowing who you are happiest spending your time around is a key toward greater self-improvement.
- Careers Are Meant to Create and Foster Growth: If you aren’t growing in your career and job, then think about other opportunities. The human mind naturally wants to keep challenging itself, and a good boss looks for places to create these challenges into order to keep their employees engaged and learning. If you feel like your job is a dead end or you aren’t getting anything out of it, it might be worth asking if there’s another position that would work better for you.
Just remember, bosses, like you, are people too. With their own sets of goals and faults. Take your boss for whom he or she is, and as long as they are trying to make you the best employee they can be, then you know they are wanting you to improve as well.
photo credit: H. Ernest Bennett (seated, right) talks with William Vaughan (center) and Leslie Francisco (left), 1973 via photopin (license)
photo credit: Hello My Name Is Growth via photopin (license)