So, your boss is driving you crazy. Sadly, you’re not alone. A massive–and alarming–70% of people surveyed in a Gallup poll either hate their jobs or are completely disengaged in their work. Now that’s a crisis.
I’m sorry that people are struggling with unhappiness at work. I’m sure there are lots of gripes you have, but while it may momentarily make you feel better, citing a laundry list of grievances isn’t a productive tool to help you turn it around. Instead, let’s try to figure out how to solve the issue and make your life at work better.
1. Step back and figure out why this is happening.
Has your boss always driven you crazy or has something changed? Did you work well together in the past? If something has changed, is it something you did?
Or, is it possible that it’s an external factor that’s making him or her especially cranky. The parade of potentials is long: deadline pressure, a changed market or a problem in his or her personal life.
It is my hope that managers never let employees see their bad behavior, but managers are people too, and they may be impacted by outside forces that can be affecting how they lead. Identify what’s happening so you can be ready to move on.
2. Own the reality.
If the relationship has changed, and if you’ve realized that you may have done something to inflict a new attitude, address it immediately in order to get the relationship back on track. Start by asking where you stand. Listen. And then ask, ”What do you need from me? Is there anything I can do for you?”
If there are other outside forces that are changing your boss’s behavior, still ask what you can do to help.
3. Make the situation better—and ultimately make your role more significant—by making yourself indispensable.
My career took off because I took on tasks that were not in my job description. By anticipating what needs to be done next, and by taking more and more on, you’ll become an essential partner in your boss’ success—and that in turn will drive your own success.
4. Understand that you can’t let someone else’s bad behavior derail you from where intend to go.
If you’ve tried in earnest to assess and alleviate the situation, but found that it’s not possible, it’s time to make a change. Figure out how to go to another department, or even, another company. Just because you’re unlucky enough to work for a bad manager doesn’t mean you should put your career on hold. You are ultimately the one responsible for your career trajectory. Take that control out of someone else’s hands and move on.