Do you wake up in the morning full of dread at the thought of going to work? Does the daily commute feel like the journey of the condemned to you? If the answer is yes, there is a high probability that you are suffering from stress that stems from disliking your boss! An unfair or over demanding boss is one of the most common reasons cited as being to blame for workplace stress.
Every job has aspects of it that cause stress from time to time, but an overbearing or over-demanding boss is not a minor stressor by any means. The boss IS the boss and getting along with him or her can be essential to your career success. You don’t necessarily need to like your boss, but you do have to co-exist in a professional capacity if you want to continue working there and have the success you desire.
If that seems like an impossible ask, consider implementing these five ways to help alleviate the pain of working for a boss you dislike.
#1 – Don’t give your Boss any ammunition
It goes without saying that you should always do your job to the best of your ability. After all, that is what you are being paid for. It might be tempting to give less than 100% when you feel like your boss doesn’t recognize your efforts anyway, but if you do that you are merely justifying him to come down hard on you. They say the cream always rises to the top, so make sure you are the cream and let the less than conscientious colleagues of yours become his target instead.
#2 – Think of your Boss as an anti-Mentor
If you have aspirations to be a Manager yourself one day, treat your situation as a learning experience. When you see or experience your boss acting unfairly or in an overbearing way, think about how he should have handled the situation and make a note of how NOT to behave when you are faced with a similar situation in the future.
#3 – Look at each day with fresh eyes
Just because you had a bad day at work yesterday doesn’t mean you will have a bad day today. Go to work in a positive frame of mind and trust that it will be a good day. If you do this, it will take much more to wear you down than it would if you started out feeling negative about your work and what stress and unhappiness the day might bring.
#4 – Don’t be intimidated
Picturing your audience naked is a commonly cited tip for getting rid of nerves when speaking. You might not want to do that with your boss to mentally bring him down to size, but you can remember that bosses are only human too. They eat, breathe, love, and laugh just like we all do. And pound to a penny they will have their own personal and professional struggles to cope with. That in itself does not justify treating you poorly, but it might help to desensitize you to his machinations so you can cope better with them.
#5 – Take action if you need to
At the end of the day, we all have choices. If your boss is making your job unbearable, it’s time for a change. If your boss is really out of line with how he treats you, consider going over his head to a superior. Otherwise, consider looking for alternative employment. If you need to improve your skills so you can move on, consider it a positive investment in your future rather than something you are doing out of desperation.
Whatever you do, you should know that very few people consider their job to be perfect. Those lucky few are in the vast minority. But always remember, you have the power to decide how you feel. You cannot control what other people do, but you can control how you think about things and what you do about them.