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5 Tips For Dealing With A Difficult Boss

Published: Thursday 30th April 2015

Telephone interviews

In an ideal world characters such as the horrible bosses played by Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey and Colin Farrell would be just that, characters. In that ideal world everyone would have a fantastic and supportive manager who wanted them to succeed in their current job and overall career. 

Sadly the reality is that this isn’t always the case. Whilst there are wonderful bosses out there, there are some difficult ones too. Whatever situation you face, you still need to make the best of it and get the job done, achieving your targets, goals and career ambitions. Zoek have put together our top five tips for dealing with a difficult boss. 

5 Ways To Deal With A Difficult Boss

1. Identify Their Triggers and Motivations: 

The best place is to begin by examining why they are acting in the way they are. The better you understand what they do and why the better position you are in to deliver results they want and manage both yours and their expectations. Better understanding them allows you to modify your behaviour and adapt to them. Find out their preferences for working practices. A better understanding of your boss, their core values and priorities could result in a better working relationship for you both.

2. Support Their Success. Work Around Their Weaknesses:

This might not be the first thing you want to do with a difficult boss but acting in either an unsupportive or destructive manner won’t get you anywhere. Making them look bad won’t make you look better and could harm your reputation in the company. By helping your boss to succeed you lay a great foundation your own future success.  

3. Don’t Let It Affect Your Work:

Your work and performance are your personal brand and you need to protect these. Don’t slack off by taking longer lunches, arrive late or produce sloppy work. Complaining to colleagues and creating a bad working environment isn’t productive either so take your frustrations out with family members or close friends but try to keep any resentment under your hat at work. Regardless of having a difficult boss, delivering high-quality work on time is important for your career development. 

4. Rise Above The Negatives:

When working with a difficult boss try to stay one step ahead of their requests, anticipate what they will ask you to do and always work to your best. Rise above any negative comments or attitudes and think long term about your goals and ambitions.

5. Make The Move:

If you have tried everything with your difficult boss but still don’t feel like you’ve made any progress, maybe think about a new role. Having a supportive manager often does make the difference and if your difficult boss if getting you down it could be time to see what other roles are out there.

For more job search tips visit our Zoek blog. Also, why not try our faster, smarter recruitment app to help you find your next job role, available to download for free on iPhone and Android.


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