Make us your home page
Instagram
Career Q&A | By Liz Reyer, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Career Q&A: Working around a bad boss

Q: I'm having trouble with my boss. He doesn't tell me the truth, doesn't follow through on promises, and shows favoritism to other employees. But others think he's great — a real straight-shooter you can count on. It seems like there is quite a pattern at my company of younger employees with family responsibilities being held back in favor of other employees who are not as strong but do not take as much leave time. My career is stagnating because of this. How can I salvage this situation?

A: There may be legal aspects to your situation, but instead I'll focus on ways to take ownership of your future so you can move forward.

You have a number of factors to figure out, but you'll need to be in the proper frame of mind: a forward-looking, purposeful focus. There are undoubtedly aspects of your situation that you have no control over. Don't dwell on them.

Then determine what you want. You mention that your career is stagnating; what are your goals? If these aren't clear, you won't be able to overcome any barriers that he may be presenting.

Finally, see yourself as others see you. Pick five people in different roles, and imagine what their impressions of you might be. Not what you'd like to think, but the actual responses they may have. Ask others for direct feedback. Make sure that you're taking responsibility for any limiting behaviors you may have. In particular, make sure you're doing your share at work despite your personal obligations.

Back to your goals. If you haven't made a clear career plan, do it now. Articulate where you'd like to be in your next role and in five years. Understand what gives you the most enjoyment in work and what you're better off avoiding. Also note what new skills you'll need to get there.

Then let people know. Engage your company's human resources department in your learning and development, and talk to management people, including asking for informational interviews in areas that interest you. Find a mentor in the company who can help guide you through this stage of your career. When you see opportunities that interest you, don't sit on the fence — take action.

You've probably noticed that I haven't talked about your boss. He may well be in the category of "factors you don't control." Unless you want a quick trip to the job market, you may have to put up with some of his behavior. That said, if you can identify ways that can move the relationship in the right direction, by all means, give it a try. Consider asking for specific types of support or engaging on neutral subjects to try to connect.

If this is a pervasive pattern in your company, then you may want to consider escalating it, either to higher-level management or to HR. This, however, is a risky approach, so if you pursue it, you'll probably want to get legal advice first and focus on building rock-solid documentation of lies or biased behavior.

Focus on your own vision for yourself to move toward a more satisfactory workplace situation.

Liz Reyer is a credentialed coach with more than 20 years of business experience. Her company, Reyer Coaching & Consulting, offers services for organizations of all sizes.

Career Q&A: Working around a bad boss 08/11/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 6:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Star Tribune.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. One of St. Petersburg's newest condo projects is sold out

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Reflecting the continued demand for condos in downtown St. Petersburg, The Salvador, completed earlier this year at 199 Dali Blvd., has sold out. Records show that a 2-bedroom, 2-bath unit sold Friday for $620,000 in an all-cash deal. Two other units — a 3-bedroom, 2-bath penthouse and a …

     Reflecting the continued demand for condos in downtown St. Petersburg, The Salvador, completed earlier this year at 199 Dali Blvd., has sold out. 
[Rendering courtesy of aalliiggnn LLC]
  2. Reload your SunPass account. Roadway tolls return Thursday.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida residents will no longer get a free pass traversing most stretches of the Florida Turnpike or certain local expressways across the state.

    With a push by the Florida Turpike to encourage more drivers traveling the Veterans and Suncoast Parkway to buy a Sunpass, motorists will begin to see more lanes converted to handle Sunpass. [Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Tampa Heights project gets $21.5 million in funding

    Real Estate

    TAMPA --- The Tampa-based Heights Community Development District got a financial boost from a $21.5 million tax-exempt bond issue to fund the waterfront community being built along the Hillsborough River just north of downtown Tampa. Proceeds from the bond issue are expected to used for new roads, sidewalks, the Tampa …

    Tampa's Heights Community Development District got a financial boost from a $21.5 million tax-exempt bond issue to fund the waterfront community being built along the Hillsborough River just north of downtown Tampa.
[Courtesy of Aerial Innovations, Inc.]
  4. Grocery chain Aldi hiring for 500 positions across Florida

    Retail

    Aldi, the German grocery store chain, is hiring for 500 positions across Florida, including at its locations in Tampa Bay. The company will hold a "one-day hiring spree" Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at all Aldi stores in the state, a Tuesday release said.

    Aldi, a German grocery store chain, is hiring for 500 positions across the state. | [Times file photo]
  5. Irma's death toll in Florida rises to 42, but will grow

    News

    TALLAHASSEE —Deadly carbon monoxide fumes have killed 11 people in Florida as Hurricane Irma's death toll rose to 42 on Tuesday, state officials reported.

    A resident walks by a pile of debris caused by a storm surge during Hurricane Irma in Everglades City. The isolated Everglades City community of about 400 people suffered some of Florida's worst storm surges, up to 9 feet (2.7 meters), when Hurricane Irma slammed the region eight days ago, leaving the insides of homes a sodden mess and caking the streets with mud. The storm affected nearly every part of the state, and, so far, the death toll stands at 42. [AP Photo | Alan Diaz]