Career: How to Deal with a Bad Boss


Dealing with a “bad” boss, takes skill and patience. It’s important to realize, the relationship you have with your manager is extremely important. If you are planning to grow within the company or if you plan to stay short term; it is wise to have your manager as your ally or cheerleader than foe. Your current manager can help you to get the promotion or prevent you from getting the promotion. If you leave the company, your reputation will follow you so protect your brand. How do you deal with a situation when you have a bad boss? You know the type, the insecure manager, the gossiping manager, the backstabber.

Find out what makes them tick

Find out what makes your manager tick. This will take some conversation, observation and getting to know him or her. Once you find out what makes your boss tick then handle with care. For example, if you find out that your boss is insecure due to unskillfulness in their role; assure your boss that you are not trying to take their position. You will need to prove your loyalty to your manager. This may take time and you may have to prove it more than once.

Aid in the areas they are weak. If you see your boss really does not like completing a report or struggles completing the report, offer to take it off his hands.

Do Your Job Well

The best assistance you can do for your boss is to do your job well. Learn as much as you can, become an expert in your field, and share your knowledge. By doing your job well, you in turn make your manager’s job easier and make your boss look good.

Go above and beyond when asked to take on projects. Deliver more than expected and do it with a positive attitude.

Keep your Emotions in Check

If you have worked for a bad boss previously, you understand how challenging it can be to keep your emotions in check. Don’t Let your boss get to you and don’t take things personally. Remind yourself this is a test that you will pass.

Do not fall into gossiping about your boss no matter how tempting it may be. As you are in the lunchroom and you hear the gossip about your manager, do not participate. Don’t do it. This is career suicide. I promise you if you do fall into this trap, there is a strong possibility what you said will get back to the manager.

Instead, if you must vent about your bad boss, go home vent to your family and friends. Someone who does not work for the company.

Protect Yourself

Have you ever worked for an untrustworthy boss? You know the type, they tell you one thing, then when its brought up again they deny it. For this backstabbing boss, get pertinent information and directives in writing to protect yourself. If your boss doesn’t usually put information is writing , you put it in writing. For example, send an email outlining what you verbally discussed. Even if you don’t get a response back, you have your writing.

Dealing with a bad manager can be challenging and demanding however it can be accomplished. The benefits of having a good working relationship with your manager out weights the negative. Learning to build strong relationships with key people is a valuable, life long skill that can benefit you in both your career and personal life.

If you enjoyed this post, see my post on How to Increase Relationship Building Skills


Written by: Rochella Neely
“an open book”

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Email Format
Follow me

Thanks for stopping by! I am a business woman, blogger, wife and mother. I help women balance the challenging roles of career and family life by sharing resources, tips and experiences. I have worked in the financial industry for almost 20 years and I have two children.
Follow me

Latest posts by (see all)


4 thoughts on “Career: How to Deal with a Bad Boss

    1. Believe me I understand. It can be done it takes a lot of self awareness and control. Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *