Melissa Langley is an ESL educator, travel blogger and freelance writer.
5 Bad Bosses You Definitely Don't Want to Work With
Let’s be honest, professionals from the Millennial generation have it pretty good in the workplace. For them, interviews are often a two-way street. They are not just there to be screened by potential employers for career prospects. Millennials are also screening potential companies as they look for a job which offers the right culture, employee benefits, and a promise that they will grow, not only as an employee, but as a person under the tutelage of aspiring leaders and managers. Unfortunately, not all mentors are the kind of leaders who can mould young professionals into the best performer they can be.
Below are the 5 bad bosses you most definitely do not want to work with:
1. The Control Freak
We’ve all had to endure the constant management of a superior who loves to feel in control. As a new employee learning the ropes of a new position, the hand-holding may be welcomed, perhaps even comforting. Sooner or later, however, the constant need to keep tabs on your every move will grow increasingly thin, and can begin to feel insulting. Rest assured that this behaviour is not about you.
It’s about insecurity. Your boss probably doesn’t feel secure in their position or may be also be micromanaged by their own superiors. Either way, the best way to deal with this kind of work situation is to continue to work hard and look towards the future. Gently remind your manager whenever necessary that you are capable of handling your work and that all the check-ins simply derail you from finishing your projects on time.
2. The Perfectionist
Similar to the micromanager, if your boss is a perfectionist they will want to see your work process step by step. However, with each step you take, the perfectionist will be on hand to critique your work and require you to make those small changes - again and again. This type of superior is energy draining.
They cannot see the bigger picture and fail to understand that changing small details will not affect the outcome of the overall project. You may begin to wonder why you’re doing any work at all when it seems like your boss feels they could do it better themselves. Feeling undervalued in the workplace is a terrible feeling, but again, this kind of behaviour has very little to do with you or your performance. If your boss is hypercritical of you, imagine how they must be on themselves. Though it may be the last thing you want to do, take in their feedback, incorporate it into your work and share it with them to increase their trust in you. And a compliment on their managerial strategies may help them gain confidence and act less controlling.
3. The Irresponsible Leader
On the opposite end of the management spectrum is the superior who offers no support to you whatsoever. There is no guidance given on work projects and you feel that you have to do everything on your own. What’s potentially scarier is that your boss may not feel the responsibility to support you should a mistake arise. These types of leaders are really uninspiring, simply because they don’t provide support in any form.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do when your superior is not willing to invest in you. It signals that they don’t have much courage for taking responsibility if ideas go wrong and may point to a much greater internal problem within the company as a whole. However, try to look at it in a positive light while you’re in the situation. Having a leader that doesn’t care leaves room for someone who does. This is exactly the circumstance that you can use to motivate yourself to take charge and be the leader of those projects.
4. The Uncaring Leader
If you are picturing a terrible boss in your mind, odds are it’s the uncaring leader. This the archetype of the terrible boss they do not care about your workload, your family situation, if you have an emergency, or that you’re feeling ill. All that matters is that you get the work done.
Recover from this type of leadership by accepting that they don’t care. In turn, try not to focus on the lack of engagement they give you. They are probably focused on higher management, so try to present your projects in a way that will benefit them and portray them in a good light to their superiors. If the higher ups take notice, it may encourage them to care more about your role.
5. The Narcissistic Leader
The narcissist is selfish, positioning themselves at the centre of any good work and hiding or erupting when things aren’t going their way. This kind of behaviour creates an extremely volatile and stressful work environment. Unfortunately in these work situations, talking it out with your superior is definitely not going to help. These managers have a slippery way of avoiding any kind of blame so be prepared to take responsibility for negative situations. Hunker down and focus on making your boss look good. This can create a better situation for you even if you might detest doing it. Work the situation until the narcissist moves on or you can find a better workplace.
Working professionals today change jobs more frequently than those in the past. The old adage, “people quit bosses, not jobs” is certainly true. If you do find yourself working for one of these bosses, it may be time to start searching for greener pastures. Avoiding these bad bosses will help you to create a better work/life balance for yourself, as well as to ensure your own future success. Being surrounded by negative energy will undoubtedly influence you further down the line. And no wants to turn into one of these bad leaders.