How to Deal When Your Boss is Less-Than-Stellar

Each job you get is a new opportunity to grow professionally, but what if your boss just isn’t that great? It’s tough getting a job done when the person who is supposed to be your mentor turns out to be far from what you expected.

Whether you’re dealing with an absentee boss, a micro-manager, or just an overly critical supervisor, we’ve got some tips to make your work life a bit easier.

 

 

Dealing with Absentee Bosses

A boss that never checks up on you might have some perks (who’s going to tell you not to waste time on Instagram or Snapchat?), but it’s frustrating when you feel like you don’t have the support you need to learn, succeed, and grow professionally.

In this case, it’s up to you to take the initiative. How about scheduling a regular catch-up meeting with your boss? That’s right — you send the meeting invite. Use this time to ask any questions you have, talk about any projects and opportunities you’d like to get involved in, and start a conversation about how they can help you achieve your goals.

 

Dealing with Micro-Managers

It’s a total confidence killer when your boss is constantly over your shoulder and dictating your every move. Try suggesting other ways to keep your boss up-to-date, like scheduling meetings where you both can talk through your projects and processes. That way, they can give you their feedback without interrupting your workflow. You can also let them know when you’re totally comfortable with a project, and you think it’ll save time if you can take it off their hands entirely and take complete management of it. It’s basically a polite way of saying, “Hey, I got this…Now back off!”

 

Dealing with Overly Critical Bosses

Bosses that constantly criticize and rarely recognize successes can easily come off as mean or intimidating, and that’s not fun! You may need to set aside time to ask for more formal feedback on your performance. Critical feedback is only meant to help you improve, but you won’t be able to reach success if you don’t know what that means to your boss. Ask your boss to explain how he or she measures success, and what kind of support they can offer to help you get there.

If you really sense that your boss has a problem with you or your work, speak up! Let them know that you want to improve your working relationship, and ask them how you can make that happen.

Are there any areas that we missed? Ask your questions in the comments below, and we’ll try our best to offer some advice!

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