A Horrible Boss Can Be the Best Thing for Your Career

by Hank

Most of us have had some really horrible bosses throughout our careers. A 2001 study found that almost 80% of the employees surveyed said their boss was a lousy manager. And, 70% of the survey’s respondents said that their immediate superior had “no clue” what to do to become a good manager. But, a bad boss may actually be the best thing for your career and help your job performance.

Learn from his mistakes. I am constantly watching my boss and taking mental notes. What is he doing wrong? What is he doing right? What could I do better if I was in his shoes? Eventually, I am going to be in his position. One day, I am going to move up the ladder and take more responsibility, and I want to be ready. By taking the best and worst attributes from all your bosses and learning from them, you are assured to be a better leader.

Rise to the challenge. A horrible boss challenges you. Many times we find out that we can accomplish greater things than we ever thought possible because of far fetching goals and unrealistic expectations put on us by a horrible boss. Many subordinates get into a funk and are actually less productive when they are faced with a bad boss. But, if you recognize the situation early and challenge yourself to rise above it, you will not fall victim to your boss’s mediocrity. It is the perfect time to excel and leave your boss in the dust. Do not let a bad boss affect your job performance.

Become a subject matter expert. The more that you know about a specific topic, the more indispensable you will become. You will have a wider berth from your bad boss if you are viewed as essential to the team’s tasks. The star quarterback always receives the least amount of scrutiny from the head coach even when he messes up. No one wants to ruffle the star’s feathers, and the same can be true in the corporate world. Strive to be the star, and your boss may just leave you alone even when you make an error.

Distance yourself. Stay away from your bad boss as much as you can. Birds of a feather flock together, and you do not want to be brought down by a negative or incompetent boss. It will always be better if your star can shine on its own without your boss always being nearby. If you identify your boss as being a poor leader, chances are that his bosses have seen it too. You do not want to be caught up in his eventual downfall.

If all else fails…..

He will move on. Hang in there. The average American switches jobs, gets promoted, transfers, moves on, etc. every two to three years. It’s an even faster turnover in the military. Your boss won’t be your boss forever. Hang in there and wait him out.

How do you deal with a bad boss? I’d love to hear your comments…
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