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Introducing Yourself to the New Boss


Getting a new boss can be an exciting but nerve-wracking time. After all, the person who now holds your career in her hands didn't hire you.

So handle your first meeting with her just like you would a job interview, suggests career coach Priscilla Claman. Her absolutely brilliant advice: Get yourself "hired" by the new boss.

Writing on HBR.org, Claman advises:

  1. Update your resume. This may be in the traditional sense, or may be more of a presentation. In any format, focus on your recent accomplishments.
  2. Set up a meeting. Ask for an appointment with your new boss on your own. Treat this like an interview -- be on time and act professionally.
  3. Present yourself. Start by saying, "Let me tell you about my role and my team." Review the resume or presentation you prepared, highlighting your own achievements and those of your team. Don't let this be a one-way conversation. Find out what you can about your boss's interests and needs.
And whatever you do, don't sit back and wait for her to make the first move. "My experience with over thirty mergers is that those who keep their heads down lose out, and those who take initiative survive."

I'd like to underline Priscilla's advice to "act professionally." It can be easy to go into your initial meeting with a new supervisor with a know-it-all attitude. You want to prove your worth, so you start dispensing unasked for advice on the back-stabbing corporate culture, whom to avoid in the hallways and ways to cut corners when ordering supplies. Bury that impulse, for obvious reasons.

How have you approached a new boss? What worked, what didn't?

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(Photo by Flickr user bpsusf, CC 2.0)

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