Tag Archives: Bad Boss

Job’s Great, Boss Is Terrible: Should You Quit?

Everything is perfect, except for one lil’ thing

Nearly half (49%) of employees are unsatisfied with their jobs. They don’t feel like they’re making a difference, or it’s just not where they thought they’d end up in life. But you? You love your job. Maybe it’s the company culture, the work itself, or a really nice paycheck. The only problem? Your boss is a nightmare.

This happens to workers all over the world. They like their jobs, or are paid well, so they can’t afford to quit. But that less-than-great boss makes things difficult. Thinking about quitting? Not so fast—you’ve got options.

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Are You Being Taken Advantage of in an Unpaid Internship?

If so, it’s time to act.

It’s hard to believe it’s back-to-school season already. Summer break has come to an end as college students across the country move back to their dorms or apartments.

Many of these students will take up an unpaid internship during their spare time. These positions can be a great way to get on-the-job training and experience.

However, what if you start your unpaid internship and notice that you’re not learning anything? You aren’t given much (if any) direction, and the only time your manager asks for your help is when he needs furniture moved or a window washed.

Is this normal, or are you being taken advantage of? Look for these warning signs.

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Boss Types, Part 1: The Bad and the Not-So-Great

There are 7.7 billion people in the world. Each one of them with their own values, culture, hopes and dreams. And some of those 7.7 billion people are bosses, each one of them different and unique.

And unique isn’t always a good thing.

Some bosses just aren’t that great. They come to work late, yell at employees, and everyone wonders how they got their position. They prioritize their own needs above those of the group, causing bad blood and major conflict.

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So, You Left a Toxic Work Culture – How Do You Explain That in an Interview?

Where do you even start?

Sometimes a good company goes bad. This can be for a range of reasons: from sketchy financial situations and harassment issues to nepotism and endless gossip. The possibilities are practically endless. Regardless, the result is the same—you probably leave.

But while interviewing with new companies several of them ask why you left your previous job (especially if you weren’t there for very long).

How are you supposed to respond? Should you tell the truth? Or do you need to dress it up as something else? The answer is a mix of both.

Tell the Truth (But Maybe Not Every Detail)

Being honest about why you left a job is a good thing. But try to keep your emotions and the specific details out of it. For instance, if you left because of nepotism, stay away from saying “I left because the CEO only promoted friends and family members into leadership positions.” This makes it sound like you were bitter about the promotion landscape, and might have been coming up for excuses why you weren’t promoted.

Instead, go with something along the lines of: “I was ready to take on more responsibilities and enter a management position, but the company decided to go in another direction. While I respect that decision, I believe I’m ready for a position like [name of position you’re interviewing for], and am excited to take that next step.”

This way you’re staying truthful, but keeping the focus on you as a productive individual and your own career hopes and dreams.

Keep the Focus on You

Don’t spend too much time talking about the culture and misdeeds of your last company. Your interviewer wants to know more about you as a job candidate not about how your last company was run. Keep emotion out of the interview, give a quick soundbite about why you left that job, and continue to keep the light on yourself and why you’re perfect for the position you’re interviewing for.

If you spend too much time talking about how bad your last job was, your potential employer might think that’s how you’ll talk about their company in the future.

Show What You Learned

Try not to place all the blame on that old company. What was it that finally made you leave? Focus on that element, and turn your leaving the company into a learning experience.

For instance, perhaps there was uncontrollable gossip in the office due to a lack of clarity from management regarding the future of the company. Instead of saying that you left because “people wouldn’t stop talking about me behind my back,” opt for something positive:

“There was a lack of clear vision for the company going into the future, and this trickled down into discontent among employees.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure where things were going either. However, I eventually realized that sitting around wondering about things wasn’t going to do anything to change my circumstances. I researched ways for the company to improve, and brought them to my supervisor to forward up the chain. When no action was taken regarding those concerns, I decided to leave the company. I wish them all the best, but I think for me, personally, it’s time for a change.”

Have you ever left a toxic work culture? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments section below!

Is Your Relationship with Your Boss on the Rocks?

Group projects don’t end after high school. As adults, we call it work. Karen grew up, and now she’s a department manager.  Like Jerry, some coworkers are undependable. And like Karen, some managers are less than great. It gets even harder to perform well when you suspect your manager might have it out for you.

But how can you really know whether your manager has a problem with you?

They Micromanage You

Maybe it’s constantly checking in on you or scheduling private meetings every day. They don’t seem to believe you when you say you have a deadline covered. Whatever it is, they’re not doing it to anybody else on the team. And that’s a problem.

You’ll probably never really know the reason. Maybe you made a bad impression on your first day, or the last person to hold the position was a friend of your boss. It could even be something in your background or social history.

How do you fix that? By doing a self-analysis. Look at your accomplishments and behavior. Check your career development plan. Are you doing anything offensive or untoward? Did your boss previously approach you about a performance problem you still haven’t dealt with?

If you can’t find anything, politely approach your boss about it. Ask them if there’s anything you’re doing wrong. Note specifically how you are being treated differently.

They’re Short with You

If your boss doesn’t make any effort to engage with you, something is wrong. You try to ask for their assistance on a project and they only give yes or no answers.

For whatever reason, they don’t want to talk to you. Maybe they don’t find your work satisfactory or don’t see you as worth their time.

As soon as you can, engage in a conversation. Don’t let it fester. Ask them why it is they refuse to engage with you. It could be because they expect you to handle your responsibilities on your own, or it could be a personal issue. You won’t know unless you ask.

They Don’t Give You Credit for Your Work

If you’re doing your job well, you can expect to be given more responsibilities. That’s how you move up in your career. However, a boss that has less than friendly feelings for you might be tempted to take credit for your accomplishments.

Start to take note of your accomplishments; write down how you achieved or completed projects. Bring this information to your manager, and let them know that you are proud of your work and would like to be recognized for it. If they listen to you and you’re able to work with them, great!

However, if your boss refuses to listen to what you have to say, regardless of reason, you may need to go to their manager and let them know about the situation. If the situation still doesn’t improve, it may be time to start looking for a new job with a great boss. 

Have you ever had trouble with a bad boss? How did you handle the situation? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

How to Deal with a Difficult Boss

It’s your third month on the job, and you’re finally starting to figure out how things work. You know who Meryl in accounting is, understand the ins and outs of your product, and know just where to park.

But as the months go by, you realize that your boss has a tendency to put you down. Suddenly your ideas “just aren’t right for the current project,” or “might be better for next year.”

You aren’t being taken seriously as a person or an employee.

Discovering that your boss doesn’t respect your expertise can ruin your work ethic and drain your enthusiasm. But if you aren’t in a position to quit, here are a few ways to excel, even with a disrespectful boss.

Be Civil

You don’t have to be a jerk just because your boss is. You don’t have to like them, but don’t try to go above them to their manager or spread rumors about them at the water cooler. Also stay away from complaints or insults. Regardless of how bad they are at managing you, they’re still your boss. Trying to upset that basic dynamic makes you look like the disruptive one. That could mean losing your job.

Try to have an honest and polite conversation with your boss about any problems you have. It’s entirely possible your boss doesn’t even realize they’re doing a poor job of managing you. If you can alert them to any issues that exist without accusing them of anything, you might be able to turn a negative situation into a positive one.

But how do you do that? If your boss refuses to value your insights, how do you address the problem without offending them?

The best thing you can do in that situation is research. Back your ideas up with facts and data. If your boss says no to that, you’re dealing with a deeper problem and might want to consider rejoining the job search.

Keep it Off Social Media

This one could have gone under “Be Civil,” but it’s so important that it needs its own section. Do NOT complain about your boss or work on social media. Not even cryptic messages such as “Feeling down today…” or “People can be so awful….” Odds are that other employees, or even your manager will find these posts, and it could be grounds for termination.

Become Your Own Manager

If your boss isn’t doing their job and continues to belittle you, you might have to become your own manager. Create a personal development plan and stick to it. Volunteer for any projects that you’re interested in. Learning new things and growing as an employee can be incredible motivators on their own.

You’re also free to seek out other managers or co-workers in the office that can act as your mentors or advisors. If you can’t learn from your manager, you might as well learn from somebody else.

Let It Go

The best way to deal with a bad boss is letting the pity party end. It’s completely valid to feel down or angry when you have a boss that doesn’t respect you, however, letting that feeling control your work life can be toxic.

You’ll always have an excuse for why you didn’t try as hard as you could have on a project, or why it’s OK to come in late every once in a while. It can become easy to think along the lines of “if my boss doesn’t care, why should I?” That stifles growth.

So let it go. Try not to hate your boss, and realize that their behavior most likely has nothing to do with you. Accept that their bad attitude is their problem, and not something that’s likely to change anytime soon. Focus on yourself and your own pursuits.

And if that boss makes your life absolutely miserable, review your job and where it stands on your career path. How much longer do you need to be here? Knowing that you have an exit point can make working with a bad boss much more bearable.

Ever had a bad boss? How did you deal with it? Let us know in the comments below!

Bad Boss of the Week: Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko

This week’s bad boss is corrupt corporate raider, Gordon Gekko from the 1987 film Wall Street. Gordon, played by Michael Douglas, is a dishonest Wall Street player who values the almighty dollar above all else. His unprincipled priorities leave no room to value companies or employees beyond financial profit. His love for money does not even flinch in the face of illegal activities.

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If you’ve had a bad boss who would stop at nothing for a buck, here are some tips to help you survive the greed:

  • Money can be a great motivator, but it can not buy you happiness. Don’t get caught up in the highly contagious greed.
  • If faced with illegal or unethical demands, choose to do the right thing no matter what, even if means finding a new job.
  • Help your boss realize how their decisions impact others.
  • Find value in things outside of work.

Share your bad boss stories at www.100worstbosses.com. For more information about 100 Worst Bosses – Learning from the Very Worst How to Be Your Very Best and the Movin’ on Up Bad Boss of the Week, click here.