We’ve just created the biggest agency under WPP with a merger… I now work at VML! As with any integration, people are asking, “What’s going to happen to my job?” and “Who do I report to now?” These are all fair questions and my advice is, look for these 3 three things you need from your boss. If you have these, you and your job will be fine. In fact, more than fine. You’ll be set up to thrive!

1. Degrees of Freedom

3 things you need - degrees of freedom

✅ Do you have and have you aligned with your boss on clear degrees of freedom? Everyone operates differently and maintains different levels of comfort with granting autonomy. Naturally, earlier in a relationship, your boss may be more hands on. Then as you prove your trustworthiness and consistency, you’ll earn more agency. Along the way, agree to align on the WHAT and ask your boss to allow you to own the HOW.

✅ Does your boss set clear milestones? These provide clear checkpoints and enable you to do your thing. Do they check in between aligned milestones or interrogate how you approach the task? Or do they step back and give you time/space to deliver the aligned goal?

✅ If folks go to your boss, inadvertently or purposefully going around you, how does your boss react? Do they dive into the conversation or do they pause to bring you in? The latter signals trust in you as a leader and ongoing commitment to the agency you’ve been granted.

2. Opportunity for Growth

3 things you need - opportunity for growth

✅ Does your boss enable you to learn? Do they support you in developing your craft? Or do they spend more time checking on your hours?

✅ Are they more focused on your demonstrated growth or on your face time in office?

✅ Do they ask what how you want to grow and where you’d like to be in 3 years? Do they offer resources, support and personal investment in the most important asset of the business… you?

3. Value on Community

3 things you need - value on community

✅ Does your boss encourage you to build, participate, or lead in curating your workplace community? Do they recognize you for your contributions to the culture?

✅ Do they encourage connection? In fact, do they invest in, show up at, and personally lead events?

✅ Do they notice the informal ways you contribute to culture and thank you?

So, what’s your score?

Listed above are 3 things you need from your boss, with 9 key questions.

If you scored 7-9, you’re in good shape. I’d encourage you to continue the healthy dialogue and keep doing what you do best!

If you scored 5-6, I’d encourage you to have a heart to heart. Acknowledge and communicate appreciation for what’s working and graciously lay out tangible asks that will enable you to do what you do even better. Document your discussion and take the lead to follow up. Just like you appreciate recognition, remember to recognize your boss for delivering on their promises.

If you scored 0-4, I’d suggest evaluating your situation. Do you think your boss could get there, but you need a real heart-to-heart? If you’re not sure about your boss’ reaction to a discussion on the topic, consider speaking to a mentor or asking HR for their advice. Because these are 3 things I believe you need from your boss to be successful.

For related articles, check out: