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Dearest Children of Mine,
Last we talked, I told you about my most embarrassing professional blunder and encouraged you to make the most of even the most ridiculous of circumstances and take responsibility. Since we're talking about professional life, let me pose a question: what do you think is the most important element to consider if you want to make sure that you love your job?
Is it your job description? Perhaps location? Maybe your colleagues? Or is it compensation?
What if I told you there is a single component that can significantly influence each of these important elements of a satisfactory job?
I believe the one thing that holds sway over each of these elements is your boss. Granted, who you work for isn't necessarily within your control, but you should be aware of the significant impact a great boss can have on you and your career. In my opinion it should be the tipping point if you are ever fortunate enough to be considering multiple job offers. Here's why:
Your boss will put your team togetherYour colleagues make a big difference in how you feel about your job in the day to day. The people your manager selects for his or her staff are your colleagues. You want a boss who is skilled at putting effective and positive people together on a team.
Your boss will spearhead your professional developmentA great people manager will support you as you take advantage of training and learning opportunities and will make it a priority to see that your professional skills grow over time. When you're evaluating potential managers, consider the career development of their current reports; it's a good indicator of how well supported your own efforts to develop and advance will be.
Your boss is the gatekeeper for your advancementBecause your boss is involved with things like providing references, scheduling interviews, and even in giving permission for you to seek new positions within the company, you'll want to pursue positions reporting to a boss who is supportive of you as you seek to move in your career. Or, if you're a little slow to contemplate career advancement, your boss can be the one to give you the encouragement and confidence to step out.
Your boss is the advocate for your compensation plan
No matter how hard you work, or how well you perform, if your boss doesn't value the job you do and make the effort to see that your are financially rewarded, you may as well be working in a quiet closet. While the Compensation and Human Resources department will have input on the parameters of your salary, your boss is the single person who will (or will not) put forth the effort to see that your compensation is reflective of the fantastic job you do. In some corporate environments, this may require political courage, and you want a boss who's willing to do what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve. And do please note: your fantastic performance comes first. Your performance gives your boss the data points to argue for greater compensation - it's up to you to give him or her enough data to work with and make a compelling argument for a raise in salary ... or perhaps even a promotion.
It's your boss's job to do their job with excellence, and the best bosses make their people a priority. Look for potential managers who consider their people to be their best asset, and you're almost certain to love your job. Let's close with the seasonally appropriate and immortal words of Ebeneezer Scrooge upon reminiscing about his favorite boss, Mister Fezziwig:
"He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune."
Sounds like a great boss to me!
thanks for reading!