5 ways to…cope when your boss is on vacation

Covering for your boss doesn't have to be painful

They’re basking in the sunshine while you’re fielding their calls; when the boss is away it’s easy for resentment or apathy to creep in. But instead of kicking back, vacations are a chance to prove your worth. Rise to the challenge and bask in new levels of admiration on the boss’s return.

1. Take charge.
Rather than passively taking messages, take action. What information or solutions can you provide? Reducing your boss’s return to work to-do list will score you huge brownie points and make your days more meaningful.

2. Go your own way.
Covering while your boss is away doesn’t mean literally stepping into their shoes. Instead of thinking “what would she do?” consider “what would I do if I was in charge?”, and do it. Your fresh perspective could provide important insights.

3. Set the tempo.
If you’re tempted to slack off, chances are those around you are too. Mark yourself as a future leader by stepping into the role of chief energiser. Keep your energy and spirit high and others will follow suit; you can count on it being reported back.

4. Spot opportunities to shine.
Your boss’s absence gives you access to their network; use it. Introduce yourself to senior clients, colleagues or stakeholders and accept invitations on their behalf. See this period as a sojourn at the next level and make the most of it.

5. Handle the hand-over.
Prepare for your boss’s return with a concise yet comprehensive handover, highlighting the major tasks accomplished, problems solved and outstanding actions in priority order. A welcome back that will be remembered come promotion time.

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