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!
As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.
Extensive Plants and Greenery
A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.
As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.
There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.
Usable Outdoor Furniture
Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.
A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.
Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.
Acting Quickly Out of Emotion
Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.
Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.
Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation
Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.
If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.
Donating Unusable Materials
Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.
Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.
Strictly Giving at Year's End
As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.
With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.
Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.
The Age of Your House
Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.
The One-Percent Rule
An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.
The Square-Foot Rule
Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.
The Mix and Match Method
Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.
Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.