Having a manager that’s a bully is not only depressing but it can also be detrimental to your long-term career, if not managed properly. The relationship between boss and employee is a delicate one that is easily abused. We have all met managers who enjoy being the “Oga At The Top” just a little bit too much!
True leaders build up their employees and establish a relationship of mutual trust and respect to encourage learning and professional development. Your manager should highlight your skills and help you develop your weaknesses. If your manager isn’t giving you the opportunity to glow up then take control of the situation, these pointers will help you shine bright like a diamond at work… regardless of your manager’s attitude.
Find Career Stakeholders in the Organization
Sadly, going to HR isn’t always an option, it can be dead end or worse, lead to retaliation if your boss hears about it. A great way around this is to find career stakeholders within your company.
Career stakeholders are influential work place mentors. They are established in the company and are influential. Align yourself with a stakeholder who has a vested interest in your progress within the company and can best advise you how to manage your boss and also how continue to grow and be recognized for your achievements despite your managers best efforts.
The great thing about a career stakeholder is that given their influence and seniority in the company, they will vouch for you if/when sh*t hits the fan with your boss. Keep them in the loop regarding projects that you are working on and confide in them about your experience with your manager.
Volunteer on Other Teams
This might seem a bit counter-intuitive since you are barely surviving your current team, but this really can really do wonders for your reputation within the company. Doing some “side” work for another team gives you great exposure and positions you as a real team player. This can also give you the opportunity to explore other interests/career paths within your current organization. You could potentially end up transitioning onto a new team through this exercise as well!
Learn to Do Your Boss’ Job
We have established that your boss isn’t great, but this is no excuse for you not to do your job. Learn what your boss’ strengths and weaknesses are and how you can be most valuable to him or her. I know it hurts to put your ego aside, but this is your career and if you prove your value in a way that resonates with your boss, he/she might ease up on you enough, and expose you to more work. When you eventually do leave the team, you leave with new skills that you can use to land a new role. Also, your boss can’t be there every day, so the more you learn about their job the better, an opportunity may arise in their absence, giving you the opportunity to step in and shine in their absence.
Remember, No Boss is Permanent
Even though it seems like your boss is untouchable and one month feels like a year, your boss can’t be your boss forever. This is just a season that you are going through, soak up as much knowledge as you can and try and weather the storm. Don’t allow your boss to push you out if you truly enjoy your job and the company that you work for.
Utilize the strategies in this article to make the best of a bad situation and you will walk away from it better than you came in!
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