Career Strategy When Your Boss is a Bully
Q. Right after I accepted my new position, the manager who hired me quit. I now have a boss "Sam" who's a classic bully. He has most of the office terrorized. Every question becomes a confrontation. Last week, he walked into the conference room as I was meeting with a customer and began berating me about a missing fax. Our Regional VP has asked us to be understanding because Sam has family and health problems. I've only been here two months. Should I begin looking for a new job?
A. When you're a midlife, midcareer manager, you face different challenges than an entry level employee. Changing jobs can be one of your options -- after you've taken some steps.
(1) Document your boss's behavior, with action time and date. Personal comments ("he's a jerk," are irrelevant. Instead, "Sam entered Conference Room A at 11:04 AM while I was meeting with Mary, VP of Eastern Widgets. Mary left five minutes later, so I could not complete my presentation to this Major Account." Write what Sam said and describe his gestures objectively. "He pointed a finger at me," not, "He waved his arms wildly." Keep your notes at home.
(2) Document your efforts to establish a good relationship with your new boss. Be ready to demonstrate that you're building bridges.
(3) Stay tuned to the office grapevine but avoid getting bogged down in long gripe sessions. Use the time to enhance your skills and test the job market.
(4) Take care of your own needs. Coaches can help you develop creative coping strategies and provide a confidential sounding board. If you're seriously depressed or anxious, find the appropriate professional resource.
(5) Begin exploring the job market, even if you're new. Many employers will understand if you explain, "The manager who fought to get me hired has left the company and my new boss wants to put own team together." Be brief and professional.
(6) Call the manager who hired you. She may not be willing to serve as a reference, but she can back up your story of a change in management.
(7) Listen for hidden agendas. Some managers are untouchable, no matter how outrageously they behave, because of some past history with the company. Maybe they brought in a big account during an economic downturn. Maybe they saved the president's career a long time ago. You may never learn the reason.
(8) Assess your corporate culture before making a formal complaint. Once you've reached management level, you have to tread carefully when appealing to HR, senior managers or even legal action. You're expected to be able to handle all kinds of tough situations. Some companies even evaluate managers on how they deal with a bad boss.
(9) Prepare a "last resort" strategy. If your boss has crossed the line from bad to bully, you can't find a new job, and your stress level soars, take your documentation to the appropriate resource. Start with your boss's boss, then human resources. Make your case professionally, in terms of the company's needs. "I've lost two sales reps who named Sam in their exit interview. I've had to spend an extra nine thousand dollars to hire replacements and they're still on their learning curve."
(10) Reclaim your own power. Seize the opportunity to use your company's resources as a vehicle to reach your own career goals. A coach or consultant can help you identify specific steps you can take. Recognize that your time here will be limited and begin to invest time, energy and sometimes money in your own healthy long-term future.
I offer one-to-one consultations on career strategy.
About The Author
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and career/business consultant, helping midlife professionals take their First step to a Second Career. http://www.cathygoodwin.com.
"Ten secrets of mastering a major life change" mailto:email@example.com
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 505-534-4294
Getting Your Online Health Care Administration Degree
Are you thinking about getting your online health care degree but don't know where to start? Afraid of choosing the wrong college or school? Here's a simple guide to help you get started building the career that you've always wanted.Making the decision to get your online health care degree is not any easy one.
Career Transitions : Fearless Flyers
You may have read one of my previous articles on career transitioning which described how to create complementary careers for yourself. This article will introduce you to three people I call Fearless Flyers because they have taken the leap of faith that many of us would only dream of considering.
Avoid Your CV Always Ending Up in the Bin
Cover Letters must grab the reader's interest so that they immediately want to learn more about the writer (you).Your cover letter is generally the first document those potential employers will read.
17 Surefire Ways to Annoy Potential Employers
Despite the President's encouraging words, the job market is still in sorry shape. There are more job seekers than job openings, so do NOT make things harder on yourself by doing any of the things on this list! Never, ever do these!Apply for jobs you are not qualified for.
The Executive Resume - Moving Beyond Accomplishments
There is a major difference between conventional resumes and executive resumes. Accomplishments are usually the center point of a conventional resume (i.
How to Overcome a Bad First Impression
Have any of these situations happened to you? Forgetting your client's name, unintentionally insulting a co-worker, spilling coffee on your boss, not recognizing an old friend, drinking too much at the company party, sending a racy e-mail to the wrong person, or asking a woman's due date when she's not pregnant - ouch! You never have a second chance to make a first impression, so what happens when that first impression is a negative one?In a perfect world none of these things would occur, but the truth is, we all make mistakes. Effective communicators are not only aware of how their actions impact others; they also know how to respond in uncomfortable situations.
Five Powerful Tips for Interns
Interning is about more than earning money during summer break. It's a wonderful way to gain work experience and lay the foundation for your future career.
Technology in the Workplace - Boon or Curse?
Like all new innovations, technology in the work environment can either work for you or against you. What is good for the employer or is not always the same for the employee.
Resume Objectives: How Do You Know if Resume Objectives Are Right for You?
Some experts say NEVER bother with resume objectives.
While others say they should be an essential element on
Chuck was the best of the twenty-four candidates. Still, he didn't have exactly what I was looking for and my instincts warned me of his unusual personality.
Acing The Interview
It's no secret that there is a lot of competition for writing jobs.What makes or breaks you in an interview is more of a mystery that some writers may try to unravel for years.
Big Job Sites Vs The Small Ones
There is much to say about posting resumes on the big job sites online. There are many positives and also negatives to doing this as well.
What Do You Want From Life?
The tragedy for millions of people is that they never decide
what they want from life and make plans for it. Life will
provide whatever we demand.
Five Qualities Employers Want
More than ever, employers want employees who can produce results! Here are five qualities employers seek in such employees.1.
Interview Presentation Skills: Dealing With Your Nerves
Sooner or later, the interview invitation is going to say you are required to give a presentation as part of the selection process. And like most people you may dread having to do it.
Job Search: Time Management
There is an old adage that "Looking for a job is harder than working." How true! The rigors of job search are magnified by the turmoil we experience: lack of self-confidence, humiliation, financial pressure, and the undercurrent of emotions that color all we do: fear, anger, depression, anxiety, loss.
I was rushing through the white-tented terminal building at Denver International Airport when my attention was diverted - as if often is -- by a storefront massage business. Checking my wristwatch, I calculated I had just enough time for a 20-minute chair massage.
Surviving Corporate Politics Part 2: Keeping Up Appearances
Never a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression, or so the saying goes. We all know that when someone is introduced into your work environment for the first time, their peers size them up immediately.
Everyday Is Saturday: Help for the Suddenly Unemployed
I recently was "unhired" by my former employer. Unhired is a softer term than "fired" but it means the same.
Dress For Success
You have heard the phrase, "Dress for Success." This is very important in your job search.