Is It Time to Fire the Boss? | Articles & Tips | | Rochester




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 Is It Time to Fire the Boss?

By Joe Stein

In Human Resources, we talk to leaders all the time about it.  Employees generally do not leave a company due to pay or benefits.  Oh…it happens, but more often the driver for the desire to change resides in the work environment.   More specifically, it involves their boss (or their boss’s boss).

This week’s column is dedicated to all of those hard working employees who have to make the tough decision of whether it is “time to fire their boss?”  If you do draw the conclusion that you need to test the market, it helps to do so as an active employer who is a passive job seeker.  By passive, we mean that you will leave for the right position, but you are currently gainfully employed.  As bad as it might get with a boss, it is rarely a good career move to quit without having another job lined up first.

If you don’t like working for your boss, then you may take some solace in knowing that you are not alone in this situation.  The international organization FindEmployment recently released an interesting study on the relationship between employees and their bosses.

• Almost 40% of employees think their boss dislikes them.
• 60% rated their boss as just “satisfactory” or lower.
• Over 40% of employees stated their boss has shouted at them during a work-related discussion.
• Over 10% stated their boss frequently belittled them in front of colleagues.

The statistics are endless and they all tell the same basic story… there are a lot of bad bosses out there in the workplace.  It makes me wonder how my current or former direct reports would have ranked me. I am sure I would be the exception to the rule and ranked at the top (at least that is what I am going to tell myself).

The statistics also serve as a reminder that if you happen to have a good boss, try to keep him or her.  It sometimes is very tempting to want to leave for a little more money or a better work schedule.  If leaving for these reasons, however, comes at the expense of leaving a really good supervisor, it may not be worth it for you.

If you are thinking of leaving because of your boss, you will want to really focus on this aspect of any prospective employer.  Examine closely your interaction with your potential new boss.  Ask about this person’s style with any direct reports that you may encounter during the interview process.  If you have the opportunity to watch the person interact with other employees these situations may tell you quite a bit about their reputation.  A key to all of this, however, will be knowing exactly what type of boss you want, both in terms of leadership style and what they can provide you towards advancing your career.

You will want to tread carefully with your prospective employer if an issue with your current supervisor is why you are looking to leave your current job.  You don’t want to spend valuable selling time having to go into detail about the toxic situation.  By doing this, you also run the risk of scaring off the Hiring Manager.  The person may be concerned that you may also have an issue with them, perhaps concluding that you will be a problem employee.  In general, you are better off downplaying any serious issues with your boss. 

In a similar vein, if you are fortunate enough to find a new position, you do not want to gloat in your departure to your departing employer during your exit.  You may be ecstatic about leaving your toxic situation with the boss, but it generally makes sense to take the high road.  Who knows?  You may be recruited back for a different position long after this bad boss has departed the organization. I always recommend against closing doors and encourage people to keep their options open.

There is very little that impacts how a person feels about their current job as much as their boss.  If a person has a difficult relationship with their supervisor, they have a number of options, such as sticking it out, talking to their next-level Manager, or looking for a new job.  If you do decide to look for a new job, then has a NEW confidential profile resume tool for “passive” Job Seekers that you may want to check out!

As always, best of luck in your job search!