Master Career Counselor

Carla Hunter, President of Career Span, Inc. is a Master Career Counselor (MCC) by the National Career Development Association and a Certified Career Coach by the National Board for Certified Counselors. She is an expert in writing resumes, effective job search strategies and interviewing success. Most recently, with over 20 years of navigating the complexity of today's world of work, she published "Finding Your Place in the World of Work", a career interest inventory (2014) and CareerView, an iPad app. As a private practice career counselor and a workforce development consultant, this blog is Carla's trove of ideas, trends, forecasts, and career tips for finding meaningful work.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What to do when you have a really bad boss

Today’s entry is a spin-off from my last one. Sometimes, no matter how much you and co-workers may have similar patterns of migration to interests, activities and values that bring meaning and fulfillment to the workplace; there are bosses who make life miserable for everyone. Before we begin to define a bad boss and what to do when you have one, let’s ask ourselves one question, “Is my boss incompetent and therefore bad or is my boss challenging and therefore stretching my boundaries of comfort?”

A bad boss is defined as one who is incompetent in leadership skills (what they do) and sustainability (who they are) in the workplace. A competent boss may actually challenge us to step out of comfort and go beyond the status quo. Thus, we may describe them as “bad” because they don’t fit our concept of doing things the way it has always been done.

Does that make them bad? The word “bad” is so subjective!

If you have stated the following to your boss in the past six weeks, your boss may not be so bad after all and you may need to redefine your expectations. Have you said:

“But, we’ve always done it this way. Why change it now?”

“Will I get paid for this extra work?”

“That is not in my job description!”

“I can’t do it. I don’t know how.”

“Do I have to do that?”

“I will get back to you in the next few days.”

“I really don’t like all this change.”

If you’ve answered any of those questions with a resounding yes, then let’s re-word the negativity. If your boss is leading at a pace you’re uncomfortable with or does it different than how it has always been done, it is likely you have the greater challenge.

A boss is not there to make your work life comfortable. A boss is there to make you competent and harness your very best talent.

In the next post, let’s get to the heart of what the definition is of a really bad boss.

1 comment:

  1. Having over thiry years of experience being in a leadership position as superior. I qualify as a good boss and a bad one. I stongly feel I have struggle with decision that I have made and that being in charge is awesome task. People do not realize the stress that their boss is under. So I just want to bring that into perspective. Most bosses are mission oriented and have one focus they want to get the job done they are not concerned about your health, promotion, marraige, or family. They sometimes do not talk except on an official capacity. How do you deal with this? In many cases there may be an assistant manager who is the go between person. If there is not there is the time when you have your evaluation. At this time it is important you discuss your job description and performance and all matters that may be bothering you. A lot of jobs you must apply for promotions so ensure you discuss the procedures with your boss. Study company policies before taking with your boss. Do not challange him/her complement and help this will get you further in the workplace. Bosses are looking for help they are lonely, lost, and looking for solutions to the souring economy. They are lucky to have you.