Gaining Independence and Trust on the Job

As you fire up your grills and bust out your sparklers (be careful, those things are dangerous!), our nation prepares to celebrate our independence.  Independence, an ideology our forefathers worked diligently and sacrificed to attain.  Independence, those freedoms and rights that are not to be taken for granted.  Independence, in all senses, is a glorious thing.  On the job, for instance, independence comes nicely packaged with trust and responsibility.  We all want our employers to trust us to be responsible for our tasks and initiatives and have confidence that we will execute them to our fullest potential.  What would you rather have, the independence to complete your own job, or have your supervisor hovering over you waiting for you to make a mistake?  As with most things, independence typically does not just fall in your lap and takes hard work to attain.  Here are some tips on how YOU can gain your boss’s trust and more independence on the job!
Complete tasks to the best of your abilities.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to make sure you are not just completing your work, but producing high quality work.  We all KNOW we are supposed to give 110%, but can you honestly say you do?  Take pride in every project you have a hand in.  If you are working on an initiative with a group, that doesn’t mean to divide that 110% up four ways.  That means that everyone in the group should give 110%.  Whether you are working on a report to be seen by only your supervisor, or web copy to be seen by thousands, putting your absolute best effort forth will show your boss how serious you are about presenting yourself and your company in the best light possible, and they will begin to trust that you will take the same pride even not under their watchful eyes.
Stick to your deadlines.
One of the primary keys to independence is time management.  If you are unable to stay on task, employers feel like they need to hold your hand more to get you to the end of your projects.  If you are the type constantly walking into your boss’s office asking for extensions, expect to be under your boss’s thumb for a while.  Sticking to your deadlines shows others that you have command managing not only the final product, but the path to reach it.
Become a subject matter expert and mentor in your office.
No matter how much you THINK you know, there is always room for growth.  Set your sights on being the go-to person in the office for your given line of work.  Sign up for webinars, read white papers and books, and constantly strive to expand your knowledge base.  Be open and willing to help those around you in improving themselves and gaining understanding as well.  Do this, and your boss will start to not only see you as responsible and independent enough to manage yourself, but others as well.
Be a self-starter.
Finish all of your tasks for the day?  Good for you!  Now are you going to sit and stare at the clock and play minesweeper until it is time to clock out?  Think again.  Bosses are not going to grant independence to individuals who they feel they need to babysit and watch for them to end their last task so they can assign them a new one.  The ability to keep yourself busy and find new initiatives when you complete your other ones shows supervisors that they don’t need to peer over your shoulder every hour of the day.
Think outside the box.
This goes hand in hand with being a self-starter, but if you really want to impress your boss and prove to them that you have a mind of your own and don’t need constant guidance, take it upon yourself to think outside of your assigned initiatives and come up with ideas you feel the company could improve on and how you can have a hand in it.  For instance, if you have been working on brochure copy but also see a need for a social media presence in your company, suggest this to your manager and offer to spearhead the project.  Of course, make sure to not overload your plate so much that you cannot complete the tasks your supervisor has already assigned to you, but thinking outside the constraints of your day-to-day duties shows your boss that you are thinking about the greater good of your company, and can be trusted to manage your own initiatives.

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