Getting a New Boss

Starting an Important New Relationship in a Positive Way

Treat getting a new boss like getting a new job.

© iStockphoto/akurtz

You may not have asked for it. You probably didn't plan for it. Yet, like it or not, your old boss is leaving, and a new boss is arriving to take his or her place. So, what's going to happen now? Does this mean that you'll also have to change your job? Or is this a good opportunity to make a great first impression, and potentially change the direction of your career?

Many people in this situation limit their thinking to what has changed about themselves – which, in this case, is nothing. However, a new boss will likely have different opinions, different policies, and even a different management style. The situation has now changed: if you simply keep doing what you did before, you're not facing reality.

You need to accept that this really is a new opportunity to make a first impression (this is one of the rare times that this possibility exists). But you also need to know how and when to act, as well as which problems to avoid. You don't want to overwhelm – or underwhelm – your new boss. There's a proper balance that you can find.

In this article, you'll discover what's usually important for new bosses, and you'll learn how to make a positive and appreciated contribution that's good for both of you.

So, Who's Really the "New Hire"?

In some cases, your new boss may be the ‘new hire'. However, you are also new to your new boss. In many ways, it's similar to when you first started your current job – you have to work to make a positive impression; and you have to be supportive, and prove yourself.

Whether or not you worked well with your old boss is no longer relevant. It's up to you to build a relationship with your new boss. Things will likely be different, so expect to change the way you work; and expect to experience a three-month adjustment period, during which you'll both "settle in" and get used to each other.

Your New Boss's Background

Your new boss may come from one of many different backgrounds. He or she may have been promoted from within the team or from elsewhere in the organization. Or your new boss may have had a similar position in another company – or even an entirely different role. This can lead to three possibilities:

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