Will I like my new boss?

How do you choose your next career step? Are you clear about the criteria you apply when deciding about your next job?

I start with my boss.

Will I like her? Can I work with him? Can I develop a trusting relationship with her? Can I be loyal to him? Does she deserve my loyalty? Am I willing to never gossip about him? Do I respect her?

Don’t get me wrong, no boss is perfect. Even the best boss will irritate or frustrate me at some point. But nine times out ten, will I be happy to see my boss’ name on an e-mail or incoming call? If I can’t answer yes to this and all of the questions above, then I probably shouldn’t take this job.

Sound extreme? Not for me. Work is hard. During my time in a job, especially a new one, I am going to make a lot of mistakes. I never want to call someone I don’t like and tell them that I made a mistake. This is not to say it’s easy to tell anyone that you made a mistake—it’s not. But when you work for someone you respect and trust, it’s easier to share a problem that you may have caused. Their first reaction will be to give you the benefit of the doubt—they know you did not intentionally make a mistake. All of my bosses have always jumped in and helped. No wonder I like them!

Now turn it around—are you a boss your employees like? Respect? Trust? Do you want your employees to come to you with problems? Do you bite their heads off if they do? I am sure you don’t.

So, maybe—“will I like my new boss?”—is not such an unusual criteria for choosing a new job after all.

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7 Responses to “Will I like my new boss?”

  1. Squiggle says:

    Excellent piece. I have learned this is so true. I used to think it was much more important what work you did to keep you interested and motivated, but I now know that the boss you have and the colleagues you work with pretty much make it or break it. Increasingly I feel like there are a lot of jobs I can do but if I actually will enjoy the work — and therefore be good at it — has to do with whom you are working with and for.

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