Bad bosses can destroy your career as they make your life miserable before you get away from them. Here are ways you can protect yourself and your career.
If you are working for a bad boss, you have my understanding and empathy. I have had a couple of bad bosses. One had no interest in his job and was a roadblock to my career. The other one was verbally abusive. In the first case, I left the company for a better opportunity. In the second case, I adjusted to my supervisor’s difficult behavior. He promoted me before he went to another job.
The Mental and Physical Risks of Working for Bad Bosses
Working for long periods of under the stress of a bad boss damages your health and your life. Common experiences include:
- Impaired mental ability
- Depression and anxiety
- Mental and physical damage that may continue for years after leaving the bad situation
How can You Protect Yourself and Your Career?
There are things you can do to reduce the stress and to work more effectively with bad bosses. Here are some of them.
Keep a Journal
Writing about your experience helps you in several ways. The process helps you clarify your thoughts and find solutions. Additionally, writing help you process the emotions and reduce the sting of dealing with your boss.
Keeping a journal with the details of your experience can help you to protect yourself.
List the details:
- Include documents, including emails, text, and memos.
- Track the details with dates and times.
- List what happened and how you responded
Respond with Emotional Intelligence
Discuss your situation with your mentor or other people you can trust to keep the information private. Through these discussions, you can find comfort and solutions to handle the situation and reduce the stress of working for your boss.
Do not retaliate. If your boss criticizes you, criticizing your boss in turn will create greater tension. If your boss yells at you, yelling back will only heighten the confrontation. Reply to your boss in a normal tone. Listen to the criticism and say that you will make the changes your boss is telling you to make.
Develop skills to work with your boss. Learn the way that your boss wants things done. For example, your boss may like options or choices before making a decision. Make recommendations with choices of action or material.
Seek New Ideas for Dealing with Bad Bosses
Going over your boss’s head is not always a good idea. At some companies, bosses will fire you for going to their supervisor or other people in the company. The ill will alone can cost you support for pay raises and promotions. However, building relationships and learning how other people are working with your boss can help you. Don’t talk with everyone about your issues with your boss. However, chances are that you are not alone. Some of the other people in your company, people who are your peers, may have found ways to work more successfully with your boss. You can learn from these people.
Showing Support for Your Boss May Reduce the Pressure.
Recognize times when you can show support for your boss. Give your boss credit when he or she deserves it. The reason that a supervisor benefits from an employee doing a great job is that the results benefit the boss.
Additionally, you can show support for your boss by doing what they ask you to do without discussion. Making your boss justify their decision will only heighten tension.
Are Your Problems Temporary
Bosses come and go. Do not ruin a career over a passing situation. Try to see the bright side of things. Your boss cannot eat you. He or she may even promote you or give you a pay raise. Eventually, your boss may just go away.
Find Another Opportunity
Explore your options to getting another job. If there appears no end to the madness of dealing with a bad boss, look for opportunities to transfer within your own company or ways to get another job.