If you've noticed that there's always a "boss BFF" who gets all the kudos, extra work, and buddy points at your office, you're not seeing things. When your boss has a go-to person she trusts, there's a good chance she goes back to using that person as a sounding board or extra set of hands more than once.
If you're not in the inner circle just yet, you can do one of two things: complain that no one likes you, or work to make sure that your boss notices how awesome you are.
Psst... you should do the second one. Here's how.
1. Gain Trust
Want your boss to trust you more? It's easy: just make sure you do what you say you're going to do. That's it! That's all it takes for your boss to go from "Who's that guy in the brown shirt over there?" to "Hey, want to have lunch?"
Think about it: Your boss has to manage a lot of people and a lot of them are simply there to do the bare minimum, collect a paycheck, and go home. When you do your job well, however, you make your boss' job easier. And when you do what you promise, you make him trust you. Boom. Instant BFFs.
2. Ask Questions
Your boss loves being asked about herself and her career path, so speak up. Get to know your boss or manager on a more personal level simply by asking questions. Just remember to stay professional. "What was the path that led you to this career?" is fine. "What did you dream about last night?" is weird.
3. Stop Being a Yes Man (or Woman)
There's a lot of pressure to just tell your boss what she wants to hear. But if you overpromise and underdeliver, it's going to make you look like a bad employee. Your boss respects people who tell the truth and give it to 'em straight, so don't be afraid to say no if you have a good reason to.
Your boss wants you to finish a project by Friday, but there's no way it'll be done in time. You could nod and say "Of course!" knowing that ultimately, you'll have to disappoint your boss OR you could say "You know, with my current workload, I think Tuesday is a more feasible deadline to get this done." When Friday rolls around, which answer gets you to boss BFF status? Being honest (even if it seems negative) means respect and honesty in your working relationship.
Your boss is always looking for people who want to improve every day. Speaking up and volunteering for projects–even when they aren't technically in your job description–shows that you have major ambition. Your job title is just that: a title. It shouldn't confine you or stop you from other opportunities. If your boss asks for a volunteer or help on a project, make sure it's your hand in the air and your boss might look at you and your talents in a completely different way.
Okay, so you won't be braiding each other's hair and telling secrets anytime soon. But, if you play your cards right and show your boss that you're trustworthy and helpful, you could become more indispensable to the company, and more likely to snag a promotion from your boss BFF.