I’m lucky. I have great bosses at my schools, through my teletherapy agency, and at the clinic where I work on Saturdays.
But it hasn’t always been that way.
I’ve had bosses who were pushy, who played favorites, who did nothing, who micro-managed, who were bad communicators…. You name it, I’ve probably had a boss who did it.
Ultimately, it comes down to two options: staying put and getting through it or leaving your position. I’ve learned a few things about staying on the good side of a bad boss (and I’ve left positions that weren’t right for me too) and I’m ready to spill my secrets:
- Do the Minimum, But Do It Well — There’s no need to go out of your way to do extra work for a boss that doesn’t appreciate it. Do the minimum that’s required by the deadline it is due — and do it right the first time. That way the boss has nothing to say — and you don’t stick out from the crowd.
- Don’t Overcommunicate — When you don’t hear from your boss for awhile, don’t send your boss an email. There’s no need to reach out. I’ve learned that no news is good news. If you have an issue, reach out to someone else.
- Document Everything — If your boss is pushy and mean, keep a log of your interactions with that person. Date, time, and what was said. Documentation stands up in court — but hopefully it won’t go that far. However, making sure you write it all down gives you proof later because you never know if you will need it.
- Don’t Make Special Requests — If you have a toxic boss, don’t stick out from the crowd. Don’t make special requests, unless you have no other option. Avoidance really does work.
- Quit Your Job — Finding a new job is not a crime. Many people feel like they have to stay with one job for a variety of reasons, but really you don’t. It depends on where you live, but there is probably a shortage of speech-language pathologists in your area since there is a shortage in many parts of the country. No one is going to save you; only you can save yourself.
Having a toxic boss is no joke. It is damaging to your health and it’s important to protect yourself from negative effects of people who bring you down. Whether you decide to stay put or move on, make sure to take time for yourself.