The Boss Blues

It’s graduation season, which means that thousands of diploma and degree-carrying adults are entering the workforce, many for the first time. With your first job comes your first boss and if you work long enough, your first dose of the “boss blues.” Having a job you love but a boss you hate can be frustrating, but before you throw in the towel, consider these tips to help you cope with a challenging boss.

1. Help Your Boss Win.

Within the first few days of a new role you will meet with your boss to discuss goals to help develop your skillset and prepare you for the next level within the organization. Well, guess what? Your boss had the same conversation with their boss and also has goals to accomplish. Just like you, your boss has to win. Whether it’s a promotion, a raise, an award, or a special assignment, it’s up to you to find out and support them. Your boss may tell you their win very matter-of-factly, or you might have to figure out a way to ask. Most likely, you will have to pay close attention to their actions, whereabouts, and office network to tease out their focus. From there, you already have a head start in supporting them. The goals and objectives they’ve outlined for you likely align with their goals, so stay focused on delivering excellence in your role.

2. Know Yourself.

Every boss has their own leadership & managerial style. Every employee has their own work style. Spend some time understanding how you work, communicate, lead, and follow. Ask yourself: What types of managerial styles best compliment my work style? Then assess how your boss leads and manages teams. If there are incongruities, explore ways you can adjust for the sake of the relationship with your boss. Yes, the onus is on you and not your boss to make adjustments. Keep in mind that being able to work with different personalities and managerial styles is a great trait to have in the workplace and will benefit you in the long run.

3. Remember: It’s Not About You.

Believe me when I tell you that if you take every rant, lecture, unfair comment, impossible assignment, and “no” from your boss as a personal attack on you & your competency, you will wither away in defeat – and for no good reason. In most cases, your boss’s actions toward you is about them, not you. Bad bosses breed bad bosses. It’s not fun when your boss’s tirade is directed at you, but don’t let it shake your confidence. This is not about being a pushover. Speak up if there’s an opportunity to do so in a tense situation. And it’s not about tolerating offensive behavior or harassment. Such actions should be reported immediately. But it’s also not about you. So keep your emotions in check, stay composed, put together, and ready for what lies ahead.

Congratulations to the Class of 2015! Now go get ‘em!