It’s not easy to stay sane in a job with a boss you hate. The worst part? You can’t ditch them like you would with anyone else in your life that wasn’t treating you well.
We deserve to love our jobs, especially in our twenties! Dealing with a boss that is plain horrible can disrupt your work-life balance and everything in between. Work environments determine everything!
Maybe your boss is a micro-manager breathing down your neck at every second, or the opposite – and never present at all. Or maybe, he/she is just plain rude! Either way – it’s not fair to have a boss who makes your day job feel longer than it already is.
I’ve always heard the quote, “people don’t stay with jobs, they stay with managers” and I truly believe that. If you hate your manager, your job is much (MUCH) harder to enjoy.
Because of rent and bills (#adulting, am I right?!), it’s not always feasible to leave your job simply because you hate your boss. But, there are coping mechanisms and certain things you can do to make a crummy situation more tolerable.
What To Do If You Hate Your Boss
Assess If You Are Part Of the Problem
Before you take any sort of action with a boss you hate, look in the mirror! Is your boss nagging you about assignments? Bothering you non-stopped? Try and figure out WHERE this is coming from.
Something I’ve learned is that managers often have a lot more on their plates than we realize. They often have someone else bugging them about numbers, performance, and their jobs. So, if you are at all making your bosses life harder, try to be completely on top of your job for a few months. Be proactive, get all your assignments in on time, do good work and see if their behavior changes. If it doesn’t….well…keep reaching.
Learn To “Not React”
The reality of the situation is; some people simply aren’t meant to be managers. I’ve had managers at previous jobs who got uncontrollably angry and would start bad mouthing other employees (yes, to me!). Maybe you have one that TAKES their anger out on you (think: Devil Wears Prada).
If your boss is continually saying things that make your blood boil, figure out a way to not end in a screaming match with them. This person signs your paycheck. The last thing you would want would be not to have a paycheck at all.
For me, I try and take deep breathes, take a walk outside or write down my reaction whenever I am furious at work. Especially going outside helps me, a change in location takes me out of my bubble and reminds me that there are issues I can focus on outside of work.
IMO, one of the hardest parts about a terrible boss is staying focused. When someone isn’t treating you well at work, it’s so difficult to separate your work and any bad relationship with your boss.
As mentioned before, I don’t think all people are meant to be managers and frankly, you’ll probably have a boss (or three) that isn’t so great over the course of your career.
That being said, it doesn’t mean this outside person, who has no effect on your abilities, should sabotage your job. Whatever it takes, listening to classical music, podcasts, sitting in a cafe, working on the weekends, to crush it in your jobs – do your best to stay focused. Especially if you have been in your job for less than a year, try and keep your head down and work. It will help you in the long run – I promise!
Wait It Out
Depending on your personal situation, it may be difficult to up and switch jobs before you’ve been there for a least a year. Personally, I try and stay in every role for at least that long before leaving.
If possible to truly stay focused, blow off steam, maybe join a boxing gym, try and make it through a year no matter how horrible your situation may feel. Resume wise, it looks less than optimal to be in a role for less a year – and I would hate for that to happen!
If Possible, Have An Honest Conversation
If your manager does specific things that make your work life harder, you can definitely have an honest conversation with them. Whenever you have these tough conversations, make sure you are in the right mindset. Don’t do it when you are emotional and in the heat of the moment – do it when you feel calm and both parties are prepared.
Try phrasing your feedback in a way that is going to make your work life easier, and therefore, your manager’s life easier. I would set time with your boss in advance (maybe send a calendar invite) so he/she is prepared. Phrase your feedback in a way that you are looking for clarification on processes, hoping to be more efficient in your job…etc. Use wording that will make your boss happy, because their life will be easier as a result of this change.
I also wrote about this in my latest Betches article on managers!
If Nothing Changes, Consider Switching Jobs
In almost all the places I’ve worked, my boss has a direct impact on my success in the job. That’s why it’s so important to have a good working relationship.
Regardless of motivation or how happy I am at work, my managers have decided the results of performance reviews, promotions and salary.
If you’ve been at the role for at least a year, it might be time to consider switching jobs. You want a manager who gives career advice and will help propel you in your career. A horrible boss isn’t going to do that!
If you’ve tried all of the above, it may be time to switch jobs. I’m not a huge fan of quitting your job before you have a new one, so try and start applying while you still have a paycheck! See the tips below for learning when it is time to quit your job because of bad bosses.
When Is It Time To Quit Your Job?
- As I said above, if you’ve been at your job for at least a year and your boss has a vendetta against you, or the world, for no apparent reason
- Have you given feedback? If your manager wasn’t receptive, showing that he/she will likely never improve
- Is there any way for you to get promoted or excel in your current job? No? Maybe time to switch it up!
- Is the company doing well? One that will look great on your resume? If not, you can consider switching!
If you are on a job search, I have an amazing (FREE) resume template download just for you!
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