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Ready to Quit? It’s Probably Because of Your Boss


The recession caused many people to lose their cushy corporate jobs, and forced the newly unemployed to take on whatever job came their way, because any job was better than no job. Right? As it turns out, not really. We’ll examine how neglectful bosses are the cause of millions of employees ditching their jobs for bigger and better career opportunities.

terrible boss

(Photo Credit: Kate Haskell/Flickr)

“More than 2 million Americans are voluntarily leaving their jobs every month,” reports Forbes, and that number is expected to continue to grow as the job market recovers from the Great Recession. Why are so many professionals calling it quits when the unemployment rate is at 6.7 percent? As it turns out, many studies point to one reason – terrible bosses.

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Effective supervisors make the difference between long-term happy employees and habitually miserable ones. CBS News points out, “More than eight [out] of 10 employees believe that their relationship with their direct supervisor has a big impact on how happy they are with their job.” How can you tell if you have a bad boss? For starters, do you really, really hate your boss? If so, chances are, you have a case of terrible boss syndrome. Read more about what constitutes a rotten supervisor, here.

Bad bosses aren’t the only reasons why people are quitting their jobs in droves; it seems that an improved job market and stress are also contributing factors, according to I Hate My Job Now. (Read the full list, here.) The reality is, bad boss or not, studies show that professionals want to find meaning in the work that they perform, and when that isn’t the case, employees lose interest in their job and their performance is negatively affected – having a bad boss simply exasperates the angst. To help ease the pain, we’ve compiled a list of ways to cope with inadequate managers.

1. Don’t take it personally. If you feel that you are doing your job to your best ability and still can’t get a break from your boss, then it’s probably him, not you. Many poor managers tend to pass the blame onto their employees because they are too insecure and fearful to deal with the criticism. Therefore, don’t take it personally when you get ridiculed for, what you and the rest of your team believe was a, job well done.  

2. Document your concerns. It’s important to write down the issues you’re having with your boss so that you have well-documented proof to show him or HR in the event that the situation escalates and your job is dependent on proving your innocence. 

3. Address the issue. The best way to deal with a bad boss is to nip the problem in the bud as soon as it occurs. Don’t sit and ruminate on how angry you are with how things turned out, do something about it – but do it in a professional manner. If your attempts to voice your concerns fall on deaf ears time and time again, then escalate the issue to Human Resources so that they are aware of the problem. Your boss or HR may not know about these inadequacies if you don’t bring them to their attention, so don’t be afraid to speak up.

4. Manage up. If you recognize that your boss is having trouble keeping up with his workload, then do your part by managing up. This means that “[y]ou need to go above and beyond the tasks assigned to you so that you can enhance your manager’s work,” as Rosanne Badowski, author and former executive assistant to Jack Welch, was quoted in a Wall Street Journal post. In other words, be there before your boss asks you to be, have those documents ready and on his desk before he has the chance to ask you for them, and make his job easier in any way that you can. You might be pleasantly surprised to see that your lending a helping hand was the solution to your boss’s case of Jekyll and Hyde.

If you feel that you might be on the verge of calling it quits, read “5 Signs Telling You It’s Time to Leave Your Job for Bigger and Better Things.” Good luck!

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Have you been a victim of a terrible boss? Share your story of survival with our community on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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