More and more of us are rethinking our priorities and considering a career change. We feel unappreciated in our current role and the grass is looking greener elsewhere. But is it just the result of months of working from home, are we better staying put, and is that promotion just around the corner. Here are some signs you may have missed that you are your boss’s favorite and should reconsider your plans to move.
They make time for you
Time is in short supply these days. Back-to-back Zoom meetings have become the standard day for most managers. If your boss finds time to check in on you for a one-on-one then they likely see you as one of their most important employees. Particularly if others don’t get that same level of access.
Give you positive performance reviews
It can often feel like everyone gets positive reviews these days. But some people do get lower scores. It is more of a check that they don’t see problems than confirmation of any positive. Basically, if they are giving you a negative review they probably don’t want you to stay.
Make you ‘employee of the month’
Another sign that can often feel like it’s unimportant and everyone gets it eventually. But truthfully many people don’t. If you were recognized recently within a larger group then you must be doing something right. Probably only consider it amongst a group of other signals because managers do try to spread these things around.
Asking you to teach or onboard employees
If you’re the boss’s go-to person to onboard new employees that probably means they think you are good with new people. And that is an important skill in more senior roles. Knowing and being friendly with everyone in the team can be key for the important task of getting noticed. So you can be in someone’s mind when it is time to consider promotions.
Talks about the future to you
That odd conversation your boss had with you about the future plans of the team could well have been them trying to tell you that there is a benefit to staying for the long term. In more senior meetings at the moment, there is lots of talk about people leaving and that can get bosses nervous. That conversation with you about the bright future of the company could well have been after a crisis meeting of senior management concerned about retention.
Talks about your future
Even further if your boss is talking about your own onward career and how the future will be bright then they are probably quite invested in you. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have something to offer you. It may mean it seems obvious to them you should be looking for a promotion elsewhere.
Pays for and/or lets you take time off for training
Another example of special treatment is offsite training that requires taking time off regular work. It may sometimes feel like a chore with extra homework or time outside regular hours. But if your looking for the suggestion of better things to come in the future being sent for management training is about the best sign around.
Ask you to take on more responsibility
Companies that don’t do specific management training often just make you work the more senior role for a bit before giving you the promotion. Be a little wary here, particularly if somebody left recently it can often be easy to just give the work to the more junior employees and never give the raise/promotion associated with the added responsibility.
If your boss sends you on a business trip, it’s a sign that the company values you, trusts you, and wants to invest in you.
Not common recently but starting to come back is business travel. It’s a quick way for a company to rack up serious costs sending people around the world. If traveling with the boss it’s also likely that you will have meals together. So they will have chosen who to bring along based on personal preference a lot of the time.
You are invited to more meetings with more senior people
There’s always limited space around a conference table. So to be in the room as discussions are had can be a big sign that they are looking for you to step up into a more senior role. They value your opinion and want you to back them up for certain questions.
Puts you forward for a promotion
Even if you don’t actually receive it. Often all a manager can do is suggest you for a promotion, so if you find out they put you forward then it’s likely sooner or later you will be successful. You have to be a little cautious that there wasn’t something major blocking you, like needing an MBA or more senior degree. But a common reason for rejection is just a limited number of slots available and somebody else’s employee taking the budget.
Gets you a pay raise
If they actually succeed in getting you a pay raise then it is a clear and obvious sign that they want you to stay for the longer term. There is usually a limited budget for raises each year and experienced managers eventually realize that giving them to people who leave ends up reducing the overall budget and seniority of the team. One thing to keep in mind though is that you are still likely to be offered more money if you go elsewhere. So do keep an open mind.
How they introduce you to others in a meeting
One time that can be informative about how our boss sees you is how he introduces you to external business contacts. Are you head or lead of the project suddenly? It may be politically impossible to make it somehow official in the office. But where no one else is there to get annoyed by it you can get some good hints about where you stand.
Sits next to you at lunch
Feels a bit like high school but social signals like who sits next to who can be surprisingly important. If people feel comfortable with one another they tend to gravitate towards those people when there are no specific reasons to go one way or another.