It has been said a million times: “Work takes up the majority of your time, you might as well like it.” But what happens when the only thing holding you back from enjoying your job is the one person who can take it away from you? When your job sucks, the first person to blame is you. The second? Your boss.
If you’ve been lucky enough to instantly click and mesh well with your managers, good for you. Not all of us have had that luxury and if you’ve ever struggled with a boss-employee relationship, this list is for you.
Tried and true tips for surviving a horrible boss:
Kill them with kindness. Yes, go back to your kindergarten years. Your parents used this phrase for a reason; they knew what it’s like. If your boss has an ego that takes up more space than the office allows, feed that ego as much as possible. To the other employees you will be the office ass-kisser, but there are far worse things, like having your boss hate you. Be a sincere suck-up!
Be direct and detailed in all your work. With as much ass-kissing you will be doing, you are going to need to be able to back it up. They will notice as soon as you slip even a little, and they won’t hesitate to call you out on it. Know what you need/want and don’t be afraid to ask for it. Be detailed in the way you handle every situation to ensure when you are questioned you can confidently answer without hesitation.
Grow a thick skin. They are going to throw curve balls at you every chance they can, when you fail (because it is bound to happen at least once) don’t take what they say personally. Good bosses and managers want you to succeed. They want to be certain you are prepared for the next step in your career, whether it be with your current company or elsewhere. Take all their advice as constructive criticism and a learning opportunity.
Talk to others in the office for support. The majority of the office knows what you are going through (because they have been/or are going through it), use it to your advantage. Ask for tips on what helped them, or what they think works best with your boss. Please note: Your coworkers don’t want to hear you complain constantly so be sure to limit yourself, but they are living proof you will make it!
Be understanding. Your boss has a lot on their plate, you’re there to make their lives easier. Maintaining a staff of however many is a job in itself, cutting your boss some slack when they seem the most unbearable might be the best way to handle them (and empathy might be just what they need from you). Manage up yourself, take on some initiative, and show them you are the killer employee they want on their team!