It’s hard to work for someone you don’t respect.

Earlier this week an article I’d written to help bosses work on their management style generated a lot of interest and feedback.  Clearly there’s no shortage of opinions regarding bosses.  The former chairman of GE once remarked, “Everyone has one”.  Likewise, everyone has opinions about what bosses do and how they do it.  

Getting out of bed and going to your job can be crappy enough anyway, but if the job also has a jerk waiting for you it can be downright depressing. While I do believe that, “it takes 2 to make peace” as John F Kennedy said; I’ve also seen many organizations where it only took one psychotic to make a lot of folks want to run for cover.  

3 ideas to Noodle

No job should be only about survival.  It’s important to thrive, as well.  Outside of quitting, there are a few things which can really help you with your job satisfaction. 

If you find yourself in a situation where you’d rather go to the dentist for a root canal than in to work every day; noodle on the following points. Maybe one will work for you.

1. Take stock – Do you know what really makes you happy?  I know this sounds a little ‘soft’ and new age; but I’ve found that most people don’t.  And if you don’t know what you really care about, how do you know you’re doing the right thing for your career?  

I always ask people how satisfied they are with their lives. Of those who say they are ‘satisfied or very satisfied’ with their life, almost all have a plan. These people took the time to contemplate their professional life, their personal life and their financial life.  Counter that with research that says that only about 14% of people have taken the few hours required to create such a Personal Action Plan.  The same study also noted that of those with a plan, nearly 85% are truly satisfied.

If you don’t have one, then you should make one. You may realize quickly that you’re doomed from the start because you’re in the wrong job, company or even industry. These aren’t that difficult abd they are very important.

2. Circumnavigate – Assuming that you’re certain you are in the right place and the right company, then you need to make sure others know you.  Those above and/or lateral to your boss who are in the position to benefit your career in any way should know who you are and what you’ve accomplished. 

Letting others know about your successes will make you a hot commodity for promotions OUT from under the appalling administrator.  If done properly, it will not be construed as bragging or conceit and may win your parole in short order. This one’s even more important if you’re female.

And, if you don’t have any links outside of your company – start to develop one!  I always recommend that serious careerists have a current, up-to-date resume ready for any request for information from someone outside the company.  Don’t wait to create one at the last minute.

3. Recognize that sharks smell blood – Bad bosses do as well.  If your boss knows you are easily intimidated, you may as well paint a target on your back.  I am often retained by companies to work with individuals to help develop their ‘presence’.  

This is one of those hard to quantify mixes, but essentially it’s about how we look and how we communicate with others.  If your appearance isn’t what it could be, do something that will help you look more appropriate for the next job you want.  If your communication skills are limited to being able to use Writely better than others; recognize that the world still values those who can speak directly and with clarity. Take a Toastmasters program and get your verbal tools up to date.

The cold hard truth is that psychotic bosses and even psychotic organizations do exist. The key is to recognize what’s going on and then manage your way around them until a better situation arises.

                                                                                                     – john mckee

                                                                                                      Career Coach