This article originally appeared in Psychology Today.
Have you ever had a boss about whom you could say, “This boss knows exactly who I am and what I am doing, and they really, really care”? This is a boss who knows what you’ve worked on in the past, what you are working on now, and what you are going to be working on next. They are all over the details. Everything they do communicates that both you and the work you do are important.
What about the opposite end of the spectrum? Have you had a boss who didn’t keep track of your day-to-day performance? This is the boss who never seems to know what you are doing or why you are doing it, who often does not know your whereabouts, who is out of the loop and knows little about your work. They are the type of boss who tells you, through their actions, that neither you nor your work is all that important.
No matter which of these bosses you have, it is up to you to make sure that you are all over the details when it comes to keeping track of your own performance. Employees who closely track their own day-to-day performance have no surprises when the time comes for mid-year and annual reviews. Employees who are all over the details are powerful because bosses and coworkers consider them self-starting high-performers.