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.
Reflect on your own work.
Before jumping to blame your boss for a negative work experience, take a deep breath! If you’re being micromanaged, is it because you’ve been leaving errors in your work? If you think your boss is generally mean, are you sure you’re not just taking constructive feedback to heart? If your boss isn’t giving you enough help and support, are you sure your needs aren’t too demanding?
Sometimes you just have to step back and take a look at both sides of the picture. If you’ve done so and still think your boss is less-than-stellar, keep reading.
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 really frustrating when you can’t get the support and assistance you need to succeed.
You may have to take the initiative here and plan a scheduled catch-up with your boss. This is the perfect opportunity to ask any questions you’ve been piling up and get feedback on your projects. Afterwards, explain to your boss how helpful this was and that you’d like to continue these meetings on a regular basis.
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 on anything you’re working on. For example, you can suggest sending through your work at the end of each day or week. That way, your boss can give you their feedback without interrupting your workflow throughout the day.
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.