Dealing with an overbearing boss can be intimidating, to say the least, especially if you’re new to the workforce or are switching jobs after some time away from the office.
But as much as you might like to, you can’t just walk away and quit your job—you need the money! While there’s no surefire way to know how you will get along with your new boss, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting along well with him or her and surviving in the long run. Here are 10 tips on how to survive a tough boss at work.
1) Create boundaries
It’s important that you clearly communicate your boundaries, even if they don’t seem ideal to your boss. If you don’t draw any lines, he or she will likely walk all over them, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
For example, if you tell your boss that you don’t want to work on Saturday mornings and then find yourself in work at 9am one weekend because she didn’t know (or forgot) what you said, it makes her feel dumb and uncomfortable.
2) Know your worth
This one may seem obvious, but in order to survive working for a tough boss, you’ve got to be willing and able to walk away at any time. That said, recognize that your employer needs you just as much as you need them. If they don’t treat you well, there will be other companies that do.
3) Establish clear goals
If you know exactly what you want, it will be easier to focus your efforts. Having goals also lets you make sure that your work is on track. When things get hectic and deadlines seem impossible, having goals can help keep you on task by reminding you of what needs to be done.
Everyone has their own methods for goal-setting; use whatever works best for you. One suggestion: make SMART goals . They are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
4) Know your priorities
With everything on your plate, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Make sure you know what’s most important by prioritising your tasks and responsibilities so that you don’t spread yourself too thin.
Prioritisation can be as simple as making a list—or prioritising can mean reevaluating where you spend your time. It may mean cutting out things that are no longer essential, like TV or exercise, in order to make more time for what really matters.
5) Use the 80/20 rule
The Pareto Principle—otherwise known as the 80/20 rule—is very simple: 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients.
If you can figure out who those 20% are, and focus on making them happy, you can grow your business significantly. Focus on making these people happy! This is especially important when dealing with a tough boss at work.
6) Show results, not effort
If you work for someone who asks for too much detail about what you’re doing, or doesn’t seem satisfied with your progress, don’t be tempted to provide reams of information on how things are coming along. Instead, try just asking them: How can I give you a weekly update that will tell you everything you need to know?
His experiences working for top brands like Unilever and Samsonite inspired him to write ‘The Rules of Work. Shivank set out to provide non-bullshitty, fact-based career advice that helps millennial workers get more opportunities and grow their careers faster.
This blog is where he documents the daily challenges he and his colleagues face. Check him out on OfficeProductivity.org.
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