Hate your boss? Here's what to do

  March 18, 2017

If you're a graduate who's relatively new to the world of work, then you may not yet fully appreciate the immense power that your boss holds. Not only are they the ones who tell you what to do and how to do it, they are also the ones who control your holiday, your pay and how quickly you are likely to progress. So having a good one is important; unfortunately not everyone gets this luxury. Some bosses are quite simply evil. They seem to be out to make everyone around them miserable, and if you get caught in the trap of one of these bosses, you will know about it. The trouble is they normally start out sweetness and light, pretending to be your very best friend and willing to do almost anything for you, but over time they start to turn into a monster, and suddenly nothing you can do is right. The tricky thing here is that at this point they've lured you in with the initial charm, so much so that they make you believe it's actually you that's the problem. Now to be fair, we can't say for sure that it's not you that's the issue, but if you can honesty say you work hard, always try your best and do whatever is asked of you, then it's probably your boss that's the problem. And when your boss does behave like a movie villain it can be really hard to enjoy your job, no matter how much you might love what you actually do. But what can you do about it?

Talk to them

Sorry to say it, but trying to talk to your evil boss is normally the best first step because in some cases it is purely a misunderstanding that is causing the tension. The key is to approach it from an 'I want to improve' angle, not an 'I hate you, explain why you're evil' angle. So be humble and ask if they have any feedback on your performance, and see if you can identify where if any of the tension is because of work issues. If that is the case then simply agreeing on how to work together moving forward may be the end of your issues. Another approach is to to them on a personal level rather than just about work stuff, it may be that you just have very different values and ways of thinking about stuff, and being able to uncover some of that could help resolve any discord.

Talk to someone else

If you have genuinely tried your hardest to try and get along with your boss and have spoken to them and made adjustments to your working style, but they still seem to hate you, then it might be time to escalate it. Speak to HR or your boss's boss and raise your concerns. But be wary of how you approach this; you need to be very clear and factual when explaining the issue. Try not to make it personal and always bring examples to back up your claims, as it could look like you are just complaining or being petty. Getting an external party involved can feel like you're a tattle-tale, but can sometimes be the support you need to get it dealt with properly.

Don't put up with it

Being treated unfairly by your boss can be extremely damaging to your confidence and work performance, and it shouldn't be something you feel like you just have to 'get on with'. The fact is that sometimes people just don't get along, and if that's the case with you and your boss, and if there's no way of avoiding them or dealing with the issue, then it could be time to look elsewhere, especially if you work very closely with your boss. Spending up to eight hours a day working with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself is not going to make you happy at work, so don't put up with it. Get back onto Happy Work and find another job suited to you where you don't have to work under a tyrant.