Making a Bad Job Good
The number one reason a person likes or dislikes their job is their boss. You can work for a company listed as one of the best places to work, and if your boss is a jerk, you’ll be miserable. Conversely, if you have a supportive boss in a lousy company, you’ll be buffered from the issues that arise there.
So what do you do if you are suffering under a micromanaging, egocentric, abusive, lying and untrustworthy creep? There are only a couple things you can do.
If you are in a large company, then chances are good there are other places you can transfer into. Target a group with a good leader and develop a plan to get yourself known to the people there. Have lunch with the team members. Ask questions and find out what projects they are working on, what challenges they face and what their most important goals are for the next 6 months. Then figure out how you can help them reach that goal. Be subtle and drop seeds like, “That sounds like a really exciting project. You know, I did something like that not too long ago and what I found was…..” In other words show how you can ensure their success. Remember too, that the MOST important thing you can do a this point is get the team members to like you. Skills are important, but people want to work with people they trust and like.
DON’T bitch and moan about your current boss as that will make you look like an unprofessional whiner and may make the potential new boss think twice about having you on the team. You can say things like, “Your projects are much more exciting than mine, you folks are really lucky”. You can also use these techniques to court multiple groups to increase your chances of a transfer. At some point you can bring things to a head and approach either the potential boss or key player and tell them that you think you can offer some valuable skills to help them and what would be the possibility of transferring into their group?
If you are in a small company, unfortunately your options are much more limited. You can either use the techniques indicated above, hope your boss will be transferred/fired or quit. No matter what you do, however, make sure you are professional and don’t burn any bridges as you move out from under your bad boss.