The Easiest Way to Impress Your Boss (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

Do you know how long you should be in the office every day?

In 2008, I worked for the best boss of my professional career.  Tom was smart, successful, and professional, and he invested a significant amount of time and energy into developing his employees.  He also gave us a lot of freedom to do our jobs independently.  In other words, he was there when we needed him, but he was not a micro-manager.

The company I worked for with Tom had a standard “9-5” schedule, so employees were allowed to leave at 5pm each weekday. 

One afternoon, I was in Tom’s office for a 4:30pm conference call that ran late. 

When the clock hit 5pm, Tom and I watched 4 people immediately get up and start making their ways to the door. (If you have ever worked in a corporate environment, you know that when people are “allowed” to leave for the day, it’s basically a mad sprint to see who can get out the door the fastest.)

When our call concluded, Tom looked at me and said, “Pete, you know that I give people their space at work and that I’m a very laid-back boss, but nothing annoys me more than people who can’t get out of here fast enough when the clock hits 5 pm.  If they are looking at their watch all day counting down until they can go home, why don’t they do me a favor and do themselves a favor by finding another job.  I want people who actually want to work here.”

Given that this was the angriest I saw Tom in the 12 months I worked for him, this moment really stood out to me.  It also made me wonder how much the typical, micro-manager boss hates it when people leave at 5 pm on the dot every day.

When I speak to students and young professionals, I end this story by asking them what time they think I left work that day, and I ALWAYS get the same answers.  Students raise their hands and guess that I left at 6 pm, or 7 pm, or even as late as 9-10pm.

However, while I certainly had my days when I stayed until 6pm or 7pm to get a project done for Tom, the truth is that I left that day (and most other days as well) around 5:15 pm.

You don’t need to work a 15-hour day to impress your boss!  Just get to work 10-15 minutes early, leave 10-15 minutes late, and use a little less than your full time allotted for lunch, and you will be putting in more time in the office than 95% of your company.  You’ll also give your boss the impression that you want to work there, even if you really don’t.  A little extra effort goes a long way in gaining the respect of your boss!

Thanks for reading!

-Pete Leibman

President of Idealize Enterprises

College Speaker and Career Expert for Gen Y

Explore posts in the same categories: Dealing With Your Boss, Promotions

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