Once you start working, you’ll quickly realize you spend more time with your colleagues than with friends and family. This is particularly true for the more than 8 million Filipinos who work in excess of 48 hours a week, according to 2015 data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
With so much time spent in the office, getting along with your manager is crucial – especially as they can make or break your first job. Recent research from Monster.com in the Philippines uncovered the expectations and challenges of fresh graduates looking for a job. It also explored the experience of employees as they entered the workplace for the first time, including how they perceived their direct manager.
While we’re not suggesting you have to be BFFs with your boss, here are some tips to improve relations and propel career success.
Start listening According to a recent poll by Monster.com in the Philippines, some 45% of Filipinos described their direct manager as an attentive listener. Good relations are built on a clear understanding of an employee’s goals and needs and a manager can only establish what those are by talking to you. For those lucky enough to have a considerate boss, take advantage of their willingness to listen and open up about your career objectives, if there is a particular area where you want training, or if you need help.
Remember that a conversation is a two-way game: make sure to listen to your manager when they offer constructive feedback, or listen out for clues that they could use some extra help – consider where you could chip in and progress your career at the same time.
Family comes firstWhen asked to describe their boss, only one fifth (21%) of Filipinos said their direct manager was sympathetic to family commitments. We all know that family comes first and is part of a healthy work-life balance, so try to think of ways to make it easier for your manager to give you the time or flexibility you need to meet family commitments. Be productive at work by ignoring social media and prioritising your workload to make sure you hit those project deadlines.
Break the silence An equal number of respondents (21%) in the poll revealed their direct manager was unavailable most of the time. If your boss always seems too busy, be flexible and work with them to find a gap in their schedule. It could be a breakfast meeting – before the day kicks off – or perhaps Thursday afternoons when the bulk of the week’s work is done, or even just walking with them on the way to a meeting. If your manager has an assistant, put on your detective hat and find out from them the best chance of getting your boss’ attention.
Appeal to their goalsIn fourth place, 13% of Filipinos polled said their manager puts their own needs first. Self-interest will always be a reality in the workplace, where people are jostling for promotions or to keep their own jobs. To tip the balance, try to think of ways to show your career progression is in your manager’s best interests, too. A well-performing team is a sign of a good manager. Think of targets or objectives that help your manager to help you; once they see good results roll in, they might be inclined to