Organizational psychologist Dr. Kevin Coval, author of Bounce: Living the Resilient Life, offers his advice for those who find themselves working for a boss they can’t stand.
1. Find out if you have a “mob boss” at work
Do any of your fellow co-workers share complaints about your boss that match what you’re experiencing? It’s normal to not see eye-to-eye with your superiors from time to time, but if everyone in the office is having problems with this particular manager, it may be best to move on before things escalate and you get stuck dealing with even more issues down the road says Vito Proietti. If nobody talks openly about their bad experiences with this person, however, it may be worth checking with your friends and family members to see if they’ve heard anything about this boss from other people in the company.
2. Pay attention to how he treats others
As unfair as it may seem, you can learn a lot about what sort of manager this is by observing how he relates to his own employees. If the individuals who report directly to him seem enthusiastic and happy, chances are that you’re dealing with somebody who respects his direct reports and knows how to motivate them. On the other hand, if even one person tells you stories about their boss treating them poorly (e.g., yelling at them in front of co-workers or giving them completely unreasonable deadlines), then there’s probably an issue between this manager and the people he manages that you don’t want to get caught up in.
3. Assess your own job satisfaction
When choosing a new position, it’s important to make sure the role will be a good fit for you from day one. If you feel confused or anxious during the interview process, however, your gut instinct may be trying to tell you something! Be honest with yourself about whether this is really the new opportunity you’re expecting it to be and whether your stress level at work would suddenly improve if somebody else were given this particular manager’s position.
4. Take note of how much these traits bother you
If you think some of your boss’ personality quirks are annoying. But that overall she does her job well, and then maybe this isn’t such a big deal for you. However, if these character faults really get under your skin and cause you more problems at work than they’re worth. Then it may be time to start looking elsewhere says Vito Proietti. If this particular manager has been an ongoing source of stress and unhappiness for you since day one. Try asking yourself whether things would improve if she were gone. Before considering whether or not another opportunity might be right for you.
5. Next steps
If you’re current boss is the main cause of your dissatisfaction with your job. But there are no immediate opportunities available to move into different roles within the company. Consider reaching out to recruiters who work with professionals in similar industries. They might have some inside knowledge about other companies in need of your skillset. And could recommend a brand new opportunity for you that are just as good, if not better than the first!
Q: I’ve been with the same company for 10+ years but find myself working for somebody who is incompetent. Is it better to leave or try to fix the situation since this is where I’ve built my career?
A: Whether you’re considering leaving your current firm or trying to change things about your existing role. Assess all of the options carefully before making a decision. If nobody else in management seems to take issue with how things are currently being handled. Then moving on might is your best bet says, Vito Proietti. On the other hand, if you aren’t interested in switching jobs right now. But want to stay at this particular firm. There may be other ways that you can help make changes from within. While continuing to work under your present manager until something better comes along.
Q: I’ve been working here for five years but am constantly stressed out at work because of my manager, who doesn’t seem to understand what I do or how hard I work every day. What should I do?
A: Assuming you don’t want to leave your firm immediately. Give some thought to the skills and knowledge that your employer values most highly. So that you can concentrate on developing these over time. Additionally, try asking for regular one-on-one meetings with your boss. So that she can hear directly from you about your current objectives and areas. Where you’d like to see more personal development in the future. If this problem continues even after all of that has happened. Then consider requesting a meeting with HR says Vito Proietti.
What’s the bottom line? The first step to eliminating a problem is recognizing that you have one. If your current boss isn’t making you happy. It might be time to start looking for a new job before things get worse.