We all want to be on great terms with our boss. Doing a stellar job with the work itself as well as related projects and assignments is an obvious way to win over the higher-ups, but there's more to impressing the big guy or gal than robotically clocking in and going through the 9-to-5 motions.
If you really want to make a lasting impression, it's time to take your game to the next level. Of course, do your work with an A+ effort, but go the extra mile with these 3 tips to making yourself the apple of your boss's eye. No sucking up or kissing butt required. Just be the best version of yourself and show your boss who's really boss! It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Ask for Constructive Criticism
Even if you think you're doing a good job, asking your boss for feedback is not only helpful, but it shows that you are striving to improve within your role and for the company at large. There's always room to grow and learn, and letting your boss know you crave this information makes you a humble, yet go-getter employee.
As per The Muse, "The best thing to do is schedule a meeting with your new boss, and ask for direct feedback. Asking your boss to identify your areas for improvement forces him or her to take an inventory of your work as whole—including everything you're getting right. Moreover, if there's something specific you're doing wrong, you'll know. And, the sooner you do, the sooner you can make a change."
This feedback will help you not only do your job satisfactorily, but better than ever, with tools and techniques you may not have thought of yourself, but are of importance and value to your boss. Al Coleman, Jr., author of Secrets to Success: The Definitive Career Development Guide for New and First Generation Professionals, as posted on Forbes notes, "If you don't do great work it'll be difficult, if not impossible, to win over your boss. Employees who do good work, consistently, efficiently, and professionally, are a joy to manage and ultimately allow their manager to focus on critical issues within the organization. The less your boss has to focus on your accomplishing your daily tasks, the more he or she can focus on accomplishing his or hers."
The feedback you receive will help you and your employer get to the next level.
It is easy to take an assignment and complete it from A to Z. But a boss wants more from an employee -to see that you can not only conquer a task at hand, but can be innovative and creative along the way. Bring new ideas to the table and interesting ways of tackling projects.
Initiative means you can feel confident to break the status quo as long as you can exhibit progress and success. As per Business Insider, "If a process or project is broken or dysfunctional, fix it! Or talk to someone who can. If you don't, who will?" Don't be too timid to make your voice heard. Your boss will remember it was you who took the step to make a change for the better and will rely on you for future collaborations.
Additionally, Forbes suggests, "Try to think of valuable projects or assignments that you can start and complete without much supervision or guidance from your boss," as per Coleman. Showing that you don't need to hold your boss's hand at every turn will make you someone to count on.
Get Personal (to a degree)
Bosses are people too. They have interests that extend outside the office walls. If you can see that your boss is receptive to it, during downtime or lunch hour, ask your boss about their weekend plans, how their fishing trip was, or how their children are doing.
Showing interest in their hobbies and talents other than what you know of them as "boss" is a way of getting closer to the true personality and mindset of your boss. Bosses need to vent or chit chat too, so by getting a little closer, he or she will come to you to exchange pleasantries or rehash last night's ball game.
This dynamic makes working together less stressful and well-rounded. As per Forbes, "She'll appreciate your efforts to share in something they find pleasurable, and you may get some invaluable one-on-one time to display your skills and competencies."
When your boss realizes you're interested in them in more ways than one, you become someone who's showing they're all in for the company, not just showing up for a paycheck.
Are you ready to impress? Take this 1, 2, 3 approach to showing your boss you mean more than just business!
Sometimes there is no choice—a home needs to be sold in the winter.
Spring may be the most popular time to put your house on the market, but homes do sell in the colder months. With fewer houses available, your home may be someone's only choice when house hunting in your neighborhood. As your neighbors hold out until spring, you'll already be done and ready to shop for your next house!
Here are a few tips for selling a home in the winter to get you on the right track.
Keep Paths Safe and Landscaping Fresh
Landscaping is the last thing on a homeowner's mind in the winter. Everything was cut back in the fall and may now be covered in snow. Still, take a walk around the house and yard to check everything out. Branches may have fallen from heavy snow, leaving a mess in the yard. Keep everything neat and tidy.
The last thing you need is a potential buyer slipping on the ice-covered walk in front of your house. Buyers often consider those moments bad omens, and this can affect their decisions. Shovel, snow blow, spread salt—do whatever you have to do to keep the driveway and walking paths clear, and don't forget the porch and deck.
Make the Inside Warm and Cozy
In cold weather, buyers won't spend a lot of time examining a home's exterior. Instead, impress them with the inside by creating an atmosphere which causes them to want to move in.
When there's time, leave wintery types of snacks and drinks, such as hot cocoa and cookies, available on a table during showings. This gives your home a welcoming feel to buyers.
Light the fireplace (if you have one) for a lovely ambience and set your thermostat to a comfortable setting. A warm home in the winter is much more appealing than a chilly one.
Make Your Home Less Personal
Understandably, this can be a tough thought for homeowners. After all, you've spent years creating memories in your home. To buyers, though, they need to picture it as their own. Too much personality makes that difficult.
It's always important to stage your home in a way that makes it look clean, comfortable, and move-in ready. Don't feel offended by the idea of taking family pictures down and replacing them with generic décor. This will help your home sell faster by helping buyers envision their own things there.
Cleanliness and Maintenance
Clean, clean, and clean some more. Make appliances, counters, and floors shine. No matter how old your home is, it needs to feel like new to potential buyers. If you aren't into dusting, now is the time to try. Don't forget window coverings that might need washing.
Be prepared ahead of time for home inspections by taking care of maintenance now. HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical should all be up to code and running smoothly.
Use these tips for selling a home in the winter, exercise patience during the slower months, and your home will sell before you know it.
Entering your 20s means you'll quickly need to learn how to navigate the world of personal finances, much of which you probably didn't learn in college or high school courses.
Without any previous lessons on finances, it can be challenging to know where to start. Follow this guide as we outline the financial decisions you'll need to make in your 20s.
Setting a Budget
The first step to being a fiscally responsible young adult is setting a budget. Your budget will determine many future financial decisions, from where you can live to what splurges you can make. Look at the expenses you currently owe every month and your projected income to determine how much you should be spending on bills, daily expenses, etc.
Getting rid of your debt as early as possible is a critical step for newly independent 20-year-olds. However, some may not be able to get rid of debt as soon as they hope. Once again, look at your budget, then decide if you'd like to put more toward tackling debt now or pay your loans as they come.
While you may be able to hold onto your parents' insurance until 26, you'll have to choose your own plans sooner or later. From health insurance to renter's and car insurance, you shouldn't skip an opportunity to cover yourself in the case of an accident. Find a provider and plan you're comfortable with, and get your coverage as soon as possible.
Saving for a Rainy Day
Navigating how to save is another critical financial decision you'll have to make in your 20s. Living paycheck to paycheck is not a sustainable course of action. Even putting a small portion of your wages into a savings account can make a big difference—especially if an emergency you didn't prepare for occurs.
Starting To Invest
Investing is a scary topic for young adults, but it's a great way to build wealth. Starting to invest as a young adult will set you up for success on your long-term financial plan. However, be sure to conduct research before jumping into the market to decide when, where, and how much you'd like to invest.
Your 20s are an optimal time to learn and grow. One area of life you'll undoubtedly learn a lot about is managing finances. Use this guide to help you get started on the path to becoming a fiscally responsible adult.
Tax deductions can be tricky to understand if you're new to the finance world.
One of the biggest sources of confusion is knowing what you can and can't deduct from your taxes. Deductions can be a massive financial boon for a lot of people, yet not everyone files for them correctly. This causes people to miss out on money that should be theirs. We'll go over some of the most common tax deductions that are overlooked, so you don't get shortchanged when Tax Day comes.
When you start regularly giving to charity, even if the donations are small, you'll want to start getting itemized receipts for your donations. These receipts will help you write off these charitable contributions on your taxes. You can even write off supplies that you bought for use in a charitable cause or any miles you drove on your car while in service to a charity. Make those donations to the Purple Heart Pickup with an open heart, but make sure you get your deduction on top of that.
Student Loan Interest Payments
Student loans take up a significant amount of a lot of people's money. If you're one of these people, make sure that you get a deduction on the amount of interest you paid off in the last year. What's important to remember is that even if you aren't someone's dependent, you can write off the money someone else gave you to pay for said student loans. If someone else helped you pay off part of your loan, don't think that means you can't still get a deduction on that sum.
Child and Dependent Care Credit
If you have a reimbursement account through your job that pays for child or dependent care, you might be forgiven for forgetting about this particular tax credit. However, you can use these funds for a tax credit if you file for them correctly. This is hugely important because this is an opportunity to receive a full tax credit, not just a deduction. You're losing money you could be directly receiving if you don't file for this credit.
Jury Pay Given to Your Employer
A lesser-known tax deduction that often gets overlooked is the money you can deduct from jury pay you gave to your employer. It may not be the most exciting thing to come out of jury duty, especially after handing over any money you receive to your employer, but you do get to deduct however much money your employer made you hand over after you finished jury duty.
Credit for Saving
While this credit is more for people that are working part-time or for those that have a retired spouse, you can get a tax credit for contributing to a 401(k) or another retirement savings plan. This is also a great incentive for those that are just starting out in their careers and need another reason to start saving for the future.