You’re working hard – yet smart. You’re diligent, committed, personable, and a team player. You’re a great communicator, never cut corners, and solve problems as soon as (and sometimes before) they arise.
And yet, you don’t know if your boss thinks you’re doing a good job or not.
Before you put in your 30-day or two-week notice and start looking for another job, take a giant step back and consider the source. There could be several reasons why you’re not receiving any feedback, and many of these reasons have nothing to do with you.
Your boss could be overwhelmed with work, or preoccupied with personal issues. Or perhaps your boss isn’t a very expressive person and assumes you know you’re doing a good job. On the other hand, some bosses only comment when there’s a problem. In this case, the lack of feedback means you’re doing very well.
But suppose you don’t know your boss well enough to discern their management style? These are 5 subtle signs that your boss is impressed with you and your work performance.
You’re receiving additional work
Trust me, if you’re weren’t doing a good job, you wouldn’t be getting extra work. If anything, your work load might be decreasing.
“Managers generally have multiple competing commitments at all times, and don’t always have time to review the work of their team, or train new team members,” explains Ray Luther, executive director of the Partnership for Coaching Excellence and Personal Leadership at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
While it might not be fair for you to get more work than everyone else, Luther says this could definitely be a good sign that you’re impressing the boss.
You’re asked for your ideas
When people value your work contributions, they tend to also value your opinion. “Ideas can be a dime a dozen, but being asked for your ideas means you’ve probably shown how you can make sense of your work and the bigger picture of an organization,” Luther says. “If your ideas are being sought, there’s a great chance your manager values your strategic thinking skills.”
You’re brought into meetings
Unless you’re there to take the food orders, being brought into a meeting is a good sign. “While no one really wants additional meetings on their calendar, invites from the boss are a great sign that you’re impressing her with what you know,” Luther explains. “Being at the table is half the battle to greater influence and an ability to show your stuff.” And he says this greater visibility can only help your career and provide more opportunities to move up the ladder.
You’re given less direction but more responsibility
I know, I know: when you’re given more responsibility, you want more authority, a pay raise and a new title. But this could be the first step. “An increase in autonomy is a great sign that you’re capable of independent work, and that your manager trusts you without the need to constantly check on you,” Luther says. “It’s a wonderful time to think bigger and show what you can do.” Instead of grumbling and complaining, use this opportunity to create an even stronger positive impression of your performance.
Your boss chats about business with you
According to Simma Lieberman, a Berkeley, CA-based inclusion expert (who was also the recipient of the 2017 Global Diversity Leadership Award), if your boss engages in conversations about business with you, this is another sign that you’re doing a good job. The fact that you’re being informed about the company’s plans means your boss wants you to be knowledgeable and up-to-date.
Remember, you do have the right to ask for and expect feedback from your boss. You don’t have to wait until your mid-year or end-of-the-year performance evaluation. You can either ask for a formal meeting, or have an informal discussion. Either way, it’s best to receive feedback in person so you can also gauge facial expressions and body language to avoid any confusion. And even if you receive feedback that is less than positive, remember that criticism is a gift that helps to make you better.