Getting a new boss and coworkers can be overwhelming for new HR professionals – and seasoned ones too. There are certain expectations and emotions people feel when they land that job and over time they are either met or found elsewhere. In your organization, while you might not have direct contact with your boss on a day to day basis, it is still important that you both learn certain things about each other, professionally and personally.
Knowing Your Boss at Work
When you were hired, hopefully, you and your boss sat down and had a conversation in more detail about the job. You won’t find out every little detail in this meeting, but starting the conversations is a step in the right direction. Communication between you two will be the most important lesson for your career. Understanding how they communicate is even more important. I’ve had coworkers who can’t take jokes, but their boss didn’t understand that and it caused problems between the two. There is a respect that must be shared in order to have a strong foundation. Knowing your boss, for me, meant that I grew to understand how my boss functions throughout the day. It’s not about knowing their schedule by hand or what they want for lunch – if this is the type of relationship you have with your boss, sit down and figure out if they are teaching you how to advance your career, or teaching you how to make a sandwich.
Know Your Boss Personally
Oversharing at work is a big thing and I wish more people understood boundaries. Having a family type office with your coworkers is great and works well with plenty of organizations, but this isn’t the case with all. Some employees, including leadership, do not know how to balance the two or compartmentalize extremely well. When they leave for the day, that is it, they won’t speak again on work matters until they show up the next day. While at work, they might not have an open relationship. I had to learn how to give when it comes to communication, especially with coworkers. What I mean by this is, my coworker would ask me, “what did you do this weekend, Jazmine?” I’d give a basic response and for me, that was the end of the conversation. This doesn’t work when your coworkers are trying to get to know you. When getting to know your boss on a personal level, you have to understand where to draw the line, and for some people, it’s a lot closer than you might think.
Understanding who your boss is and what they bring to the organization is key to understanding what they are expecting from you as their assistant, HR manager, supervisor, or whichever role you play in the company. Always remember, the expectations that your boss might have for you, may not align with the expectations you have for yourself. It’s okay to be in this situation with a boss who has the leadership abilities to help you grow and support you on the path you want to be on, as long as you’re still performing your responsibilities within the organization you’re currently working for at this time.