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How to Deal With a Difficult Boss

We’ve all had one. A hard-to-deal-with supervisor or difficult boss. Although we’ve all had one, it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with our own. This isn’t an article about how to ‘keep your head up’ and just get through the day. These are real tips on ways that you can actively pursue when dealing with what may seem like an impossible situation at work with your boss.

Find Your Passion

Are you passionate about your career, or is it just a job to you? I think this is a very fundamental question when trying to determine whether it’s worth staying or if it’s time to walk away. I’m not advocating giving up, but it might be time to really gauge your interest in where you work, what you’re working for and what you are doing.

If you are not passionate about the company you are working for, you may want to start making decisions that will allow you to find a new job. Perhaps this involves attending more networking events or stepping up on big projects to improve your resume.

The problem may not just be your workplace, but your industry. It can seem daunting to switch professions but it’s possible. Perhaps this will mean going back to school in order to get qualified for what you really want to do. Before you take drastic action, do some research into the areas you are passionate about and think you may want to pursue.

If you’re really passionate about what you do, you might just have to figure out a way to work with your boss. You might think that’s an impossible task, but really it’s a strategic one. It might just be finding a commonality that you can go to when you’re having an impossibly hard day. It might also be a case of simply avoiding that person as much as possible so that you can continue with your passionate work that will one day save the world.

Make the Commitment to Yourself

If you love everything about your job except your boss, then it’s time to make the commitment to yourself and to your work, and make your boss your secondary commitment.

If everyone around you, and maybe including your direct supervisors, can see how hard you work and the drive that you have for what you do, you might just be left alone. You can find ways to avoid having to deal directly with the boss man (or woman) and keep the essence of what you’re doing.

Try to see beyond the day-to-day frustrations you may have with those you think are keeping you down. You don’t really know the motivation behind the way they behave. It really may not have anything to do with you personally, and the less you involve yourself in it, the clearer your head will be.

You Can Quit

This is easier said than done. Everyone has bills to pay, and mouths to feed. I get it, because I do too. But the biggest lesson that I’ve learned during my professional career was how to tell when it really was time for me to go.

It’s hard, but you have to look around you and realize that if everyone else has the drive and commitment, then it isn’t fair if you don’t. Complaining about management on a daily basis to anyone who will listen gets really, really old to everyone you work with. If you’re so unhappy, and there are other opportunities, why waste even a minute staying where you don’t want to be, and frankly might have worn out your welcome?

You don’t have to be miserable in your work situation. There are always solutions to dealing with your difficult boss, and if there isn’t, maybe it’s just time to move on.

Photo Credit: Tesselate

Tierna Unruh-Enos Tierna Unruh-Enos holds an MA in Journalism from Prescott College in Prescott, AZ. She is a an expert in careers, budgeting and saving money. A native of New Mexico, Tierna is a communications and marketing specialist in Albuquerque. She is also a mother, a freelance writer and lover of all things green chile (there may be a few exceptions!).
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