Working with a terrible boss is one reason employees leave their dream jobs.
This is because Bosses are like little gods. They can make or mar careers.
The number of employees quitting jobs due to their bosses outranks employees leaving due to other reasons.
Exit due to bad bosses ranks far higher than exit due to work load, compensation and career progression.
You need to understand how the career market works.
Opportunities come with lots of competition.
To land a dream job, for example, you have to compete with your peers at different stages of an interview process.
Success at each stage of the interview process is measured in two areas:
- Your technical competence
- Your persuasion skills
But once you get in, what next?
The team you choose to work in or the one you’re placed in, then determines how smooth a career you’ll have.
But one person is often instrumental to your success on the job – your boss!
If your boss is terrible, your stay at the new firm will be miserable. If great, your career is off to a flying start.
To make good you career chances, you should know from your first day (assuming you didn’t see the red flags during the interview) if you’re working with the enemy.
Here are 5 signs that can help you make this judgment. It’s not exhaustive. But it’s a great start.
1) Your Boss Disrespects You
When I finished NYSC, I started working as a teacher in a private school.
The pay wasn’t great, but the prestige of teaching in the second-best private school in the city made me carry on.
Then one day, during a staff meeting, the school owner said something.
A statement that made me quit my job a couple of months later.
If your father had made good plans for you, you wouldn’t be here working for me.”
That night I made a conscious decision to quit my job.
Having a boss that disrespects you – or your parents – is a big blow to your self-esteem.
2) Your Boss Won’t Listen to You
As humans, we love to talk about ourselves. We’re eager to share our ideas and hear feedback from others, especially in a group setting.
So when we pitch ideas of how to make things better at work, or when we explain the challenges we face with a project, we want a boss who can have enough presence of mind to listen.
If you have a boss who only shouts you down and imposes his opinion on you, then you are dealing with a bad boss.
3) Your Boss Is Difficult to Please
Now let me say this first. I assume you’re not a lazy employee.
You come to work and work your ass off, day in and day out. Both hard work and smart work.
You look at all your KPIs for the month and crush them, even before month end.
Instead of a deserved pat on the back, what do you get?
Bad mouthing and poor appraisals. Every discussion table turns into an argument forum.
Not because you’re not performing. Just that there’s a part of you the boss hates. A part which is not related to your on-the-job performance.
Tell you what my friend.
You’re working with the enemy. Just shine your eyes.
4) Your Boss Doesn’t Lead by Example
If he tells you to be at work before 8 a.m. daily, is he there at work before 8 a.m. daily?
Or is he all about talk and zero action?
There are many bosses like this. What they are good at is to shout people into doing things. But they never try their hands at those things themselves. These signs are all over them. Be careful.
5) Your Boss Is Dishonest
This is what you should most look out for in a boss.
Does the person have integrity?
This is because a boss without integrity can throw you under a trailer without blinking.
When issues arise at work, you can measure integrity by how a boss responds.
Does the boss take ownership or try to push the problem to colleagues?
This is the best litmus test for knowing a boss who will stand by you as your career takes off.
Working with a terrible boss is tough. Not many survive the intrigues that follow it.
It helps if you can spot these signs early enough so you can plan what your best strategy should be.
Without a sound strategy, you will be walking on mines buried deep in enemy territory.