Horrible Bosses…

In your working life you will spend more time with your colleagues and your boss than your family –you might think that’s a good or bad thing! Having a strained relationship with your boss and peers can cause a significant amount of stress and even lead you to make decisions you would never normally make to the detriment of your career.

Having a “bad manager” can take on a number of different behavioral types some of which might not be as easily recognisable as having them scream at you in the office or throw things! The failure to consistently dismiss your ideas, take their personal anger out on you, or simply ignore you in the office; can all be signs of mismanagement by your superior and give you the desire to start seeking a new career opportunity.

If any of this sounds familiar, then the logical step is to take any new job ASAP, right? Wrong… You could find a new role and discover that your new boss is just as bad! Remember that when you attend an interview you are, to a certain extent, interviewing your potential new manager as well. This is the perfect opportunity to discover more about this person and what sort of leader they are – so you don’t just jump out of the fat and into the frying pan!

If you want a boss who makes time for you and listens to your opinions then being interviewed by someone who checks their emails or smartphone during the interview can be a big indication that you might find yourself struggling to make your thoughts and ideas heard once you are in the role.

It is always advisable to discuss with the interviewer as to why the current opportunity has become available to help you better understand the situation and potential team culture. Has the previous employee been let go or left abruptly – if so why? Vague responses such as the person was not “suitable in the role” or a “cultural fit” could mean that the company does not place much emphasis on training or even that the employee would not bow down to the manager’s methods. You could question how long the manager has been at the company and what made them join? If they have come from a larger corporate company into a smaller venture, they might still be stuck in a management style that is better suit to companies with a high number of staff.

Regardless of if you are interviewing for your dream job or just something you wouldn’t “mind” doing go the extra mile in your research beforehand and it could give you an advantage in the interview. Have a look on LinkedIn and see if any current or former employees’ have recommended the manager and what they have said… They might not have recommended the manager personally but what about reviews on Glassdoor or other similar websites by current employees?

People will spend a long time showing that they are suitable for the company and why they should be hired but remember to make sure that it is a two-way street and get the potential employer to explain why you should join and what the company culture is like.

Remember if you enjoy your job and don’t want to leave but your current boss is making life unbearable then there are several steps you can take to resolve this issue. Have a relaxed open conversation with your boss or suggest that perhaps it would be better if you reported into another manager. You may even wish to seek the advice of the HR department / contact – who knows you might not be the first person to complain?!

None of these tactics can guarantee any success and the best way to avoid the situation is to make sure you never work for a “bad manager” in the first place – but hindsight can be wonderful thing!

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