Looking for Mr. Goodboss

Question:

I’ve had bad luck with bosses. I expect to be treated with respect and paid what I’m worth.

I had one good boss who knew how to treat employees. He gave regular raises, a Christmas bonus, and gave me control over my schedule.

Since working for him, I’ve been fired from one job and left two because I wasn’t well-supervised. In my current job, I’m stifled and under-utilized.

I’ve told my friends how crappy my supervisor, and they’re wondering how long I can stay in such a miserable job. I’ve told them I’m giving my current boss one last chance, because I don’t want to look for another job.

Help!

Answer:

I can’t fix your boss.

Nor can I help but wonder, are you looking for Mr. Goodboss?

From what you’ve written, you’re the stifled victim of four poor bosses. You don’t want to search for a new job; however, remaining in a problem situation that doesn’t show promise of improving generally proves to be a mistake.

Consider this experiment — Imagine one year has passed and you’ve remained in this frustrating situation. Will you be a better employee for the experience? If not, you need to move to a new job before your unhappiness further erodes your attitude.

You also need to realize that employees who don’t like supervisors often learn the dislike is mutual—their supervisors don’t like them either. This means that the raises, flexibility, and positive comments you long for won’t materialize.

Moving on, however, may not solve the problem if you’re the problem. Although poor supervisors exist, how did you find four in a row? Were you unlucky? Were you so in need of a job you jumped into each position before realizing how problematic the supervisor was? Or, are you an employee who brings out the worst in supervisors?

Finally, placing full responsibility for your job misery at the feet of your supervisor keeps you powerless. Although you listed many flaws in your boss, you don’t mention how you contribute to this problematic work relationship. Even if your boss creates one hundred percent of the problem, can you uncover ways in which you can change your behavior and create positive change?

p.s. You might enjoy Looking for Mr. Goodbar, a 1977 American crime drama starring Richard Gere and Diane Keaton, and based on Judith Rossner’s best-selling novel of the same name.

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One thought on “Looking for Mr. Goodboss

  1. The person in the case certainly has issues about finding a good boss, and may have become part of the problem, as you hinted. My experience wasn’t so much with bad bosses but with bosses who may have meant well but weren’t able to do enough to change or better a bad to toxic to fraught to politically messed-up situation. I began to think it perhaps was endemic to my career choices, because friends and acquaintances in the same lines of work were having these issues, too.

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