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Career plan | What to do when you don’t get along with your boss?



You have the privilege of evolving in a role and in a work environment that suits you. However, something comes to upset your professional experience: you have an incompatibility with your manager. This bad relationship at work can completely change the equation and nullify all the benefits that a job can offer. Should you run away or live with this situation?

Normal to hesitate before making the leap to something else. Especially since there is no guarantee that the next manager will be more competent or have a management style that suits you better. Choosing to quit a job because of dissatisfactions with your superior, especially if it has many advantages, is heartbreaking and risky.

Disagreement with a manager is a major source of professional dissatisfaction. Sometimes it becomes obvious that the relationship is not suitable. For example, when harassment or situations that go against labor standards arise. However, it often happens that the situation is more complex and plays on the limits.

Unfortunately, access to the management position is not necessarily a sign of competence. Also, some, despite good abilities and intentions, find themselves overwhelmed, ill-equipped or exhausted. Miscommunication, social incompetence, or toxic or unhealthy behaviors are all reasons that could lead to a disagreement with the manager. Without making their case here, we spontaneously think of the so-called Peter principle where the employee tends to progress in his career until he reaches his level of incompetence.

The nuances in your situation

It is essential to put the situation into perspective and put things into perspective before considering changing jobs. Hindsight also makes it possible to assess the room for maneuver in order to find solutions to the problem of incompatibility. However, putting things into perspective doesn’t mean comparing yourself with others: what suits a colleague might not suit you. It is just as important to take into account the subjectivity of a situation, because everyone has their limits and areas of sensitivity.

Also, not everything is white or black, a relationship is a two-way affair: it is relevant to question your share of responsibility in the misunderstanding. Systematically having conflicts with one’s managers could give a hint that there is at least a sensitivity to authority.

Your indicators

The choice to quit your job is yours. Depending on the state you are in, it can be laborious to take a step back before making a decision. It is possible that your confidence in yourself or in the job market has been affected. A management style that doesn’t suit your needs requires a lot of adaptation and compromise. Still, the cost of keeping you in this situation has to be worth it.

The puzzle then arises in order to decide between what belongs to the exceeded limits, to your needs, to your personal requirements and to your level of sensitivity in the face of disagreement.

In the balance also, you will have to consider your tolerance to discomfort which is very subjective. Some people can function for years despite dissatisfaction, others will have their cup full quickly.

In order to allow you to move forward in your reflection and assess whether the situation is viable or that the problem is there for good, make sure you have the answers to these questions:

Ask yourself about the temporality of the situation. What are your hopes and possibilities for improving your dissatisfaction? Do you consider that the temporary situation has become permanent and irreversible?

You can also consider the power you have in this misunderstanding. Have you properly assessed all your levers and what are your options? What have you tried so far? Does it degrade? Can you realistically adapt and if so, how?

Finally, measure the impact it has on your work, your health and your confidence. Do you feel that your professional situation affects your health or your other spheres of life? Do you feel that there is danger in the house? What would you advise someone around you if they found themselves in your place?

Go or stay?

If you choose to experiment with new strategies or the status quo for the time being, try to preserve yourself as much as possible. Also, remain regularly attentive to the evolution of the impacts of the situation.

If you change jobs, maintain your professionalism and never speak ill of your manager, regardless of their behavior. When exploring your next workplace, pay attention to the type of management in place, the work climate, the words used and even the attitude of the manager at the time of the interview.

Scalded cat fears cold water, your past negative experiences are useful to you in evaluating a new environment, you have developed a sensitivity to characteristics that do not suit you. If the red flags are agitated: there is no point in throwing yourself into a new situation that does not suit you.

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