Step 1 of the 1 Step Sure Fire Way to Know What Your Boss Thinks About You is….. ASK!

Sounds ridiculous, right? But there are countless people who spending sleepless nights worrying they aren’t doing enough, they are doing the wrong things, the wrong way while sporting bad hair.

Stop freaking out. Open your computer, send a three-line email to your boss and ask for 40 minutes of their time to pick their brain about your progress and planning. Ideally, you should be able to do this during your annual review, when you develop your IDP (what? you don’t have an IDP? get it here…now!) or during a mentoring meeting. If these things don’t happen for you or you are still so anxious that you are running amuck, write your boss.

Then ask some key questions.

  • Is my progress in keeping with your expectations of a faculty member at my level?
  • What do you think I need to develop to be more of a resource internally to the University and the Department?
  • Are there people you think I need to be working more closely with, or cut back on my collaboration?
  • What would you like to see me do differently in the next year?
  • What are the departmental needs at this point?

And whatever you do, don’t ask if they like you. It doesn’t matter. Sure, it would be nice to have your boss ‘like’ you, but as my Nana use to say, “If you knew how infrequently people were thinking about you, you wouldn’t care so much what their opinion of you was“. Your boss wants you to do well. Make it easy for them to help you because that telepathy thing you are trying isn’t working.

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