The one thing you can count on in business is nothing ever stays the same. That goes for the boss, too.
Bosses come and they go even when your job remains in place. In some businesses, they come and go so fast they feel like a hit and run. While it would be nice to have some stability, it’s not something you can count on. Moreover, you can actually use it for boosting your career.
You can look at the boss turn-over as a career growth opportunity.
A new boss is a time when the board is wiped clean and a new working relationship has yet to be developed. If your previous relationship was rocky or you performed some career limiting moves, this gives you an opportunity to recreate who you are to that new person. Even if the new boss is someone you already know, you are both new in this relationship and you have a chance to rethink how things will go. The key is to “think” about your next actions.
Here are some smart career moves when you get a new boss:
1. Educate Them On What You Do
This is like the reverse of learning a new job. You can’t assume the new boss knows the details of who does what. They have a learning curve, so make sure you help them understand your job. Among the things you can share are your primary deliverables, results, current performance, what you are working on and are slated to work on soon.
2. Don’t Compare Them To The Previous Boss
They will resent the comparison. They will also more than likely want to do things differently than how it was done. Even if the previous boss was a felon, don’t pass on bad gossip to the new one. The assumption is if you freely share your opinion of that person, you will do it to the new one as well. It doesn’t win points.
3. Time Your Requests And Decision Making
If you hit up a new boss for things like time off, vacations, raises or even process decisions you will come off as unsaavy. Obviously, if there is a big decision that affects the business, you shouldn’t hold off. Be prepared with a recommendation for a decision, your rationale and any critical timing. Aside from that, allow the learning curve to take place and bring these topics to them in small doses.
4. Time To Shine
If you were doing less than stellar under the previous boss, now is the time to hit the “reset” button on your performance. If you can make strides in the areas of improvement now that you are with a new boss, the new boss will trust their own observations of you more than anything passed on to them.
If you need to get a mentor to help you understand what you should be doing, now is the time to get that person lined up. It doesn’t have to be public knowledge that you have a mentor. A mentor can help your career whether it is how to navigate the political landscape or how to improve your performance.
5. Learn Your New Boss
Some people think the new boss will yearn to hear all of their pent-up improvement suggestions. Like all people, they will only want advice if they ask for it. Learn how your new boss likes to learn and take in new information. How do they want to run the department? Loads of details or only the top level information? Again, you can’t make assumptions about the new boss based on any of your history. Ask them questions about what they will want to know from you and then deliver.
6. Be Ready For Change
Even when a peer ascends to the throne, things will change. Every boss will tweak things, sometimes making huge changes and other times only minor. Your willingness to actively embrace those changes can mean the difference between a successful working relationship and career or being advised perhaps you’d fit better in another group.
Just like starting fresh with a new job, a new boss can be a time to start over again and create real career momentum for you. You don’t have to hang on to your old stories. You can rewrite your career each and every time a new boss comes along.
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