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Do you leave a bad job or a bad boss?

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 18 Jul 2022

Bad job or bad boss Hero Image

The age-old question - do you leave a bad job or is it all down to bad management?

In all honesty, this depends on the job, the person, and their own preferences. What may seem like a bad boss to one individual may not be the same case for another. This article discusses what could make a bad boss, why you should consider making some changes and what you can do to even salvage your current job to make it work better for you. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this article, you’ll be able to determine if you want a new job or just a change in management. Either way, changes may need to be made!

How do you feel about your job?

To determine whether it is the job or management, how do you currently feel about the job itself. Do you enjoy the day-to-day tasks you do, or are they starting to become tedious? We all have parts of our jobs that aren’t easy and don’t bring enjoyment, but that doesn’t mean it overpowers the positive aspects. So, really think about what it is that you don’t like.

How did you feel about the job when you accepted it? Did it sound exciting and come with new opportunities? Has your boss always seemed to be a problem or is there new management?  Changes to the workplace and how you work can impact the way we feel about our jobs more than we may initially think. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of comparison in order to reflect on your feelings and see where the issues have stemmed from.

In other cases, there may be a change of management or a restructure whilst you are employed, that has a big impact on you and your job. Whatever the situation might be, it’s important to gather your thoughts on the subject and discuss with others before you make any harsh decisions you may regret. Sometimes negative energy can force us to make fast decisions that we may later regret.

What makes a bad boss?

The first thing to think about is what really makes a bad boss?  Although things may be different for everyone, there does seem to be some universal problems that employees deal with when it comes to bad management.

  • The individual seems to have an indecisive nature
  • You don’t feel like they are giving you enough attention or the help you need to fulfil your role
  • You don’t feel like they are focused on the mission of the team
  • You believe them to be unreliable
  • You feel like they are unwilling to listen or learn about your side of things
  • Micromanagement

Your boss can have a bigger impact on your career than you think

When you think about it, you spend most of your day and week working. If you work in the same environment as your boss throughout this time, that’s a lot of time to spend with someone you feel is having a negative impact on you. Negative thoughts and feelings can have a very strong hold on the way you feel about something. Your job is a big part of your life, and you deserve to feel comfortable and happy whilst working. If not, this can have an impact on how you feel about your job and your future career. Especially, if you wanted to stay with this employer for a longer period of time than you already have.

Document your thoughts

When something negative is happening in your life if can be easy to lose sight of things and become consumed by the negativity. To keep clarity, make a note when things go wrong, or something happens that causes this negative feeling. This way, you can escalate the problem and you are able to have a further talk with colleagues and your HR team to ensure that you can be supported. Sometimes, things can be resolved, other times further action might need to be taken.

Can issues be resolved?

In some cases, being open about your experiences and discussing the issues can be enough to resolve the situation. Other times, it’s not this easy. But ask yourself if you believe things can change. Talk to HR and make sure you are expressing your concerns. A lot of employers will be happy to do what they can to retain good talent.

Discuss whether or not it is an option to change some parts of your job, have opportunities to train or work withy other teams in the organisation. Like I said before, employers want to keep good talent, so if there is something they can do to help you enjoy your role and gain something from it to keep you, they might just do this for you.

A lot of the time, boredom can really cloud our judgement. So, think about this and debate whether this is an issue as well. Just like burnout, this can be a real issue for some professionals.

Try not to burn any bridges

Whether you are feeling negatively towards the job or your boss, you might want to come back at a later date in your career. When negative feelings get in the way of things, it can make you want to get out of there as quick as possible, but I highly recommend doing the following if you do decide to resign:

  • Work your notice – resign when appropriate and do it to a good standard
  • Create a good handover
  • Work hard whilst on your notice
  • Keep up communication (can be tempting to stop talking all together)
  • Do everything you can to keep a good relationship with your boss and other co-workers

People work in different ways

A bad manager means different things to different employees. People work in a variety of ways and employers should be understanding of your way of working, even if it’s not the same technique they use. It’s about an understanding from both parties and some room for potential compromise. It might be you not wanting to make any changes and that’s okay, but is that an issue with the job or the boss?

There really is a fine line, but it’s why we should spend time thinking about things like this before we make any big decisions.

Ultimately, managers should be there to aid you with your job. They are there to help you achieve your goals and figure out what is going wrong when you don’t. However, I do believe that a bad boss is more of a reason to leave a company than a bad job. Employers offer stability, the chance to learn, develop and sometimes, this takes time and can feel tedious. But if your boss is making this 10X harder, then what’s the point?

Has this helped you figure out why you’re not feeling 100% about your current job?