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You Like What You Do, But Not Who You Work For ~ Here's What to Do

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By Kari Oakley

When people imagine their dream jobs, they don't necessarily consider the difference their employer will make. Even if you embrace your position, it can be greatly diminished by having an employer who is inconsiderate, incompetent, unreliable, or a combination of all that and more. This is what to do when your dream job has a nightmare boss.

1. Write Out Your Frustrations

To begin to deal with this situation, you need to know exactly what's bothering you. Just telling yourself that you don't like your boss is going to do nothing but make you madder. Pull out a piece of paper and write a heading like "I don't like my boss, because" with a list of reasons that finish the sentence. This can help you by informing you of what is frustrating you the most. The items that you list first are likely the ones of highest priority. Consider how you can tackle each of these in the most professional manner possible.

2. Consider What Is and Isn't a Problem

Expecting your boss to be perfect means that you're going to run into trouble no matter where you work. Even the best bosses can have bad habits like chewing too loudly or occasionally responding to emails too late. You can be bothered by these things, but you should separate personal grievances like these from professional ones. Some professional transgressions can be personal, however. For instance, if your boss is making demeaning comments about your sexual orientation or appearance, they're not only being rude, they're also damaging the ability of the workplace to be a safe and comfortable environment. You should file a complaint with your company's human resources department and, if things are really bad, consider hiring legal representation.

3. Address Indirect Compensation

Many people don’t know what is indirect compensation. It's essentially any benefits that are given to employees. Common types of indirect compensation include health benefits like medical, dental, and vision insurance. There are also things like paid sick leave and vacation time. If your employer isn't providing this, it's understandable to be frustrated. Don't be shy about bringing up indirect compensation, as failing to talk about it could lead them to believe that it's not a concern for their employees.

4. Talk to Other Employees

It's unlikely that you'll be alone in your negative feelings about your boss. To eliminate the fear that you're delusional, discussing your issues with other employees. This should be done in a confidential manner with people you trust. Don't say anything inflammatory that could have negative repercussions if your boss heard it. Do your best to gauge a general sense of how your boss is viewed and if others are in agreement with you.

5. Talk to Higher-Ups

If your boss isn't the head of a company by just manages a certain branch or department, you should consult with whoever they report to. Let them know how your boss's behavior has been negatively affecting the workplace. Look over the company's policy and any related laws that may be under violation. They should not want to have somebody who is grossly unqualified to be representing their brand.

6. Work Your Way Up

Do you suspect that you would be able to run your business far better than your boss? Then you need to prove yourself by working your way up. You want to show your boss that you aren't going to let their poor management style get the best of you. When you're feeling frustrated, redirect your focus to the long term. Think about how good it will feel to eventually reach your boss' position. You'll be able to help rinse off their detrimental effects and give the business, and your career, a facelift.


A bad boss should not be enough to scare you away from your dream job. All the work that you've put in to reach this point should not be sabotaged because you've been dealt a bad hand in terms of an employer. These strategies will help you to find your way through this situation and make your job all the more enjoyable.

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