It’s pretty safe to say that at some point in our lives, we’ve all had a job, unless you’ve won the lottery or started a highly profitable business at a very young age, in which case you can stop reading (and can I borrow ten bucks?). For the rest of us, it probably also means that at some point you’ve had a very bad boss.
I’m sure we can all relate to how it feels to not want to go to work in the morning, to be nervous about asking for that raise, or scared to make even the simplest mistake. Sometimes the only way to deal with a bad boss is to change jobs, but in other cases there are effective ways to make those 40 hours a week more bearable.
Do your job well. Sure it seems obvious, but if you’ve got a boss that’s already constantly on your case, you don’t want to give him any more ammunition. Show up early, stay late, and do the best you can. Slacking off will only make the situation worse. Don’t forget to keep a record of all your accomplishments, you may need to prove them later on.
Know your boss’s moods. If you know your boss is more approachable in the break room as he’s filling his coffee, or that he always seems happier after he’s had his tuna salad sandwich, make it a point to seek him out then.
Write it down. It’s easy to get flustered when you’re meeting with the Boss From Hell. Always arrive to your meetings prepared. You may even want to make a list of the topics you want to cover. That way, you won’t be kicking yourself later when you forget to mention a key point.
Find an ally. It’s always a good idea to have friends in your organization. If you’re not well liked, it will definitely make it much easier for your boss to hand you that pink slip and kick you out the door. Who knows, you may find someone that’ll be willing to go to bat for you when things get really bad. If nothing else, having a trusted coworker you can vent to will definitely help you cope.
When it comes to bad bosses, it’s really up to you to determine your breaking point. Sometimes the best course of action for your emotional health and your career is to move on to greener pastures.
How have you dealt with a bad small business boss in the past?