Bad Boss? Time to Assess Your Happiness

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Posted by The Editors on October 31, 2011
Bad Boss? Time to Assess Your Happiness

In light of Halloween, I found myself reminiscing about my fears. When I was younger, I was afraid of a lot of things: spiders, the ocean, my dad’s booming voice, that stupid Chuckie doll that still haunts my dreams to this very day. But as I grew up and got over those childhood fears (most of them, anyway), I started to think about a specific fear that haunts workers everyday: the scary boss!

You know the kind I’m talking about; The one that causes your insomnia by yelling, throwing chairs across the room, and calling you at ungodly hours for those damn status reports. Tony Soprano, anyone?

Truth is, unless you’re your own boss, you’ll probably come across a manager whose working style doesn’t always agree with your own.

Don’t live a nightmare. If you have a feeling it’s time to move on to greener, happier pastures, then go with your gut and leave the scary stuff for Halloween and the silver screen.

If you’re still trying to figure out how to manage your manager—and you’re absolutely miserable in the meantime—heed the advice of these Twitter professionals from last week’s #HBRchat: How to Cope with Your Incompetent Boss. If you’re not familiar with HBRChat on Twitter, it’s a forum run by Harvard Business Review where participants are invited to share their thoughts, ideas and opinions on a specific topic every Thursday from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Check it out!

You know it’s time to start looking for a new job when:

You feel you’re consistently being held back, won’t be promoted, are not using your favorite/best talents, start looking. - @CreativeSage

When your boss has a negative impact on your career and/or you do not agree with the direction of your team, start looking. - @SalarySchool

We all have a moral/ethical code. If you are asked to violate it, that cognitive dissonance won't go away. Time to leave. - @scott_rafferty

If you think creating boundaries can help limit an incompetent boss or stressful workplace from impacting your personal well-being, try these suggestions:

Leave work at work. Never bring work home, if you can help it. - @Redtype

Approach your day as a sequence of ‘sprints’ versus a marathon—short mental breaks are key to sustainable momentum. - @ValaAfshar

I always recommend a 'detox' period. Have a set time with no phone, no email, nothing work related at all. - @MichaelCarusi

Where should you draw the line before requesting a new boss or actively looking for a new employer?

A personal moral compass and ethics will often draw that line for you. - @soi_peo

Breaking points vary. But when bad outweighs the good, time to move on. Firm believer in life's too short to be miserable. - @Give2GetJobs 

If the company can't articulate a vision, there is no future regardless of the boss. - @kbhazen

(Thank you to everyone who participated and shared great advice.)

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