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February 18, 2014

5 Tips to Surviving a Terrible Manager

You can do it!

bad boss

Photo Credit: Getty

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Hate your boss? You're not alone. According to a Gallup poll released last year, a whopping 70 percent of respondents said they either hated their jobs or felt "disengaged" from work, with many citing "bosses from hell" as the culprit. Other studies have suggested that employees don't even enjoy perks of their jobs when they feel mistreated or underappreciated by management, and they can feel overwhelmed by tasks when working in such an environment.

While you might not be able to turn your boss into the manager of your dreams, you can take a few simple steps to improve your situation, one day at a time. 

1. Don't let your bad boss define your entire work experience. It's easy to reduce your whole day to your relationship with your boss, but don't let your negative feelings get the most of you. Focus your attention on your colleagues, the people who might report to you, current projects, and making yourself known to your manager's cohorts.

2. Speak up, but get your timing right. It's hard to know when to speak out, and when to do just deal. If you feel taken advantage of or wrongfully targeted by your boss, schedule a private meeting with him/her. Discussing the behavior in a thoughtful way (instead of reacting in a moment of overwhelming emotion) is always the better choice. He/she will respect you more for sticking up for yourself, and handling the situation like an adult.

3. Work hard, contribute, and stay on top of your responsibilities. If you're doing everything you have to do and things are still bad, re-evaluate.

4. Search for something better. Turn your dissatisfaction into motivation. Browse online for other opportunities, take informational meetings, and/or interview for competitive positions, so long as your searching doesn't jeopardize your current role. You deserve to like your job and your boss. Don't let one bad manager keep you stewing in a situtation you should have left some time ago.

5. Find fulfillment outside of work. Yes, you spend most of your week at your job, but look elsewhere if you're seeking more from the experience. Sign up for a class if you feel as though you're not getting enough training in a certain discipline. Sometimes, your employer will foot the bill. Yearning for something more fun? Sign up for a recreational sports league, or weekend art classes to get you out of your rut. Whatever you do, don't shuffle between sitting at your desk hating your job, to sulking on your couch thinking about how much you hate your job.

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