horrible bosses, workplace culture, hiring managers, bad management, work environment, bad boss
CAREER / 13 December 2016
How Successful People Deal with Bad Bosses
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Julie Huang
Head of University Relations
Irvine

I’m sorry. That’s the first thing I would say to anyone who has a lousy boss. Seriously.

In an ideal world, our bosses and managers would be the ones who create conditions to which we, as valuable motivated individuals (assuming you are a motivated individual), can excel. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes you’ll find yourself working under constant surveillance by a micromanager, another with anger management problems, or the one who never takes in any suggestions that could potentially help their business (because they’re always right since they’re the boss, right?). Often times, this just ends up making you feel under-valued, stressed, and have a straight-up negative outlook on life. Most individuals will let their horrible boss and negative mood affect every other part of their life (and yes, this is a natural thing to do), but truly successful people find ways to make the most out of this dreadful situation and still bring results for their company.

Here are some tips on how you can professionally deal with your own horrible boss.

  1. Make sure your boss is actually a “bad boss.”


    Take a little bit of time and give yourself a reality check. Is your boss really that horrible? Are they just not doing things exactly the way you would have done it? Or maybe they replaced a former boss that you really loved?
    Take a deep breath. Remind yourself that your boss may not actually be the horrible person you painted them to be - you may just have different ways of working and communicating.

    Observe them and the way they work with you and others for a few days. When they’re doing something “bad,” think of positive reasons why it may have occurred. Was it something they purposely did? Or was it something completely out of their control?

  1. Don’t let it affect your work.


    It might be tempting to constantly whisper about how much your boss sucks to your coworkers in the break room, but tread lightly. You’ll be tempted to work slower, take longer “mental” breaks (when you’re really just checking Instagram or Facebook), take longer lunches, or have more frequent sick days. No matter how badly your boss is doing, don’t let that affect the work that you’re doing. Whether that be through your results, completing deadlines, or spreading the negativity in the office. It’ll only put you and your team further behind and give your boss a reason to let you go even if you weren’t planning on leaving. Needing a bit of help with this? Here are some tips that will help you stay happy at work in the meantime!

  2. Document everything.


    Sometimes you’ll deal with a boss who may not be completely on top of things. That really does suck. But be prepared with documented proof. When your boss asks you for something or tells you something, remember to get it in writing. Whenever you have meetings, jot down a couple of notes and follow up with an email afterwards so you can refer back to it in the future. You can send an outline of the things you went through in your meeting. You want to ensure that you’re 100% covered at all time.

  1. Stay one step ahead.

    Chances are this isn’t your first day at work. You’ve gotten some time to identify your boss’s weaknesses and know where you stand in terms of what you have to offer and how you can help. Anticipate what tasks your boss wants done and get them done ahead of time. Maybe your boss has a specific structure of how they like things done - don’t spend time dreading the moment they ask you for the same link for the fifth time, post that link somewhere you know they’ll never be able to misplace.

    Don’t hesitate to step in and help when you can. Regardless of whether or not you like your boss or vice versa, if you are constantly showing them that you’re a valuable asset that makes them look good, you’ll just be making your job a whole lot easier (if you do plan on leaving, be sure to check these tips before you go!).

  1. Learn from this experience to avoid bad bosses in the future.


    Don’t continue to surround yourself with the negativity that comes with this experience. Take what you’ve learned from having a bad boss and help ensure that you’ll never have to deal with situations similar to that again.

    Pay attention to what really drove you crazy. Not only will your observations give you a better perspective of what you want to avoid professionally, it’ll give you a better understanding of what companies and management styles you’ll want to aim for next. So before you apply for a new job, take the time to do a bit of research on what the company is like and what type of culture it fosters.

So yeah, having a bad boss sucks. It can instantaneously twist your perfect job into something you can only imagine would happen to unlucky characters on a T.V sitcom. Use some of these tips and try your best to make the most out of a tough situation!

How about you? Have you ever dealt with a horrible boss? What were some things you did to try and remedy the issue?