You may have just graduated with honours and landed a new job, and head into the office on your first day of work trying your best to manage your expectations and figuring out the best way to work with your employer. Or maybe you are a seasoned professional with almost a decade of tenacious experience but somehow feel like your new manager or superior is not one who can steer a talented ship of creative professionals.
So, it begs the question — what exactly defines a bad boss? We give you a checklist and offer you valuable tips on how to #handleitlikeaboss.
Even my two-year-old daughter hates it when someone breathes down her neck, much less a fully-grown working adult with years of experience. A study published in the Journal of Human Behaviour indicates that micromanaging superiors have poor leadership skills and no trusts in their employees. They have a certain tendency to check on their employees’ every move, summon their subordinates to their office at a moment’s notice just to inquire how far along are they with the task that was given twenty minutes ago or limit the freedom for their employees to take charge of their own tasks to the bare minimum.
If your boss is indeed a control freak, rejoice as you can soothe their nerves by intuitively feeding them with frequent updates on the progress of your assignment or provide detailed notes on every meeting. Alternatively, in some offices, what seems to do the trick is showering the bosses with thoughtful gestures as you break into your best aesthetic smile as though you have just discovered your road to paradise.
2. You Do It
More often than not, there will be times when we get that overwhelming feeling that we are bombarded with work and other miscellaneous assignments, but the most important question to ask is if the work is fairly or unfairly assigned.
Are you taking on more workload than the rest of your peers and co-workers? Is the assigned task out of your job scope? Is your boss ordering you to work on an issue that he is not willing to take on himself or does not bother explaining his requirements for it? Or are your superiors causing you to question your moral compass with assignments that you are not in favour of?
Yes, it can be extremely frustrating to undertake tasks that you are not comfortable with ethically or handed assignments that you never had to perform before and then given unrealistic deadlines along with it. This often leads to stress and before you know it, you start to notice the pesky red zits popping up on the surface of your skin.
Well, if you are already kicking and gasping for air to complete the task has already been assigned to you, be frank and explain to him that you already have a lot on your plate and suggest whether someone else on the team can undertake the additional work instead.
3. No Respect For Personal Time
Some bosses are workaholics and have little to no idea of the concept of personal time and days off. The hardcore ones expect you to be at their beck and call 24 hours a day, seven times a week. Unless it is extremely urgent, your boss should not be bothering you once you step out of the office because you deserve every right to rest, unwind and recharge with no interruptions during your downtime.
If Lady Luck is not smiling on you and you end up with a gung-ho boss, set boundaries early on and assure your boss that you have handled the task or assignment before the weekend and will look into any amendments come Monday morning. If in any case, your boss requires you to put in the extra hours, make sure you sound off for some form of compensation, such as off-in-lieu etc.
4. Hindering Your Professional Growth
What does Thierry Henry of Arsenal and Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool have in common? Both these footballers were signed by their respective clubs as an average squad player but the former left Arsenal a legend and the latter left Liverpool as football’s third most expensive player. These feats essentially boil down to a good boss or manager. A good manager will encourage and help you to advance your career, be it through mentoring or continued learning. Such is the case for Henry and Coutinho, who were guided under the unfaltering stewardship of Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klopp respectively.
If you have been slogging it day in and day out but still stuck, stagnant and not progressing after a period of time, it is high time you look elsewhere for better career progression opportunities. If need be, seek another mentor from an external company or another department. A mentor can become a valuable resource if you desire to climb the corporate ladder and serves as a good sounding board.