Finding a New Job
Finding a New Job

What Can You Learn from a Bad Boss to Improve Your Job Search?

Feeling trapped in a job with a horrible boss can be the worst feeling in the world, but there is a silver lining to the situation: It can be a teachable moment for your next job search.

All too often, it is difficult to figure out who a bad boss is until you are being supervised by them. Some bosses are bullies. Others are too detached. And still others are bad communicators.

If you’re feeling trapped by a bad boss, you should be actively looking for another job; however,  try to pay attention to what your boss is doing wrong so you can spot it during the job-seeking process.

While searching for a job, think about what you are looking for in a supervisor. If you are just starting out on your career path, you might want a supervisor who acts as a mentor and coach. Down the road, you might want a manager who’s more laid back or who can navigate office politics while advocating for you and your co-workers.

By giving some thought to what you want in a supervisor, you’ll be much better able to see it on your job search.

Look into the manager and the culture

If you are being considered for a job and want to know what kind of supervisor you would be working for, do some investigating into the person who will be directly supervising you and the culture around that person.

Start your investigation by reaching out to people who may have worked with the manager in the past. It’s perfectly fine for an employer to look into your professional past, so why can’t you check out the person who will be directing you 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year?

If you know someone who has worked under the manager personally, ask them about their experience. If not, go on LinkedIn and politely ask people they have supervised if they have any advice that might help you out.

Also, when you go in for the interview, pay attention to the energy in the department where you will be working. Are the employees enthusiastic, working together and happy? Or are they complaining and seem stressed out?

Using your interview time

Ask how success will be defined in the position. If they can’t accurately describe what success looks like, it means they haven’t thought about what their personnel needs are – a bad sign.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask a manager directly, but respectfully, about his or her managing style. Ask them what kind of person they work best with and how they provide coaching to their employees. The responses to these questions should be detailed and come naturally. The answers shouldn’t feel like they’re being made up on the spot.

At ZDA, we work with our supply chain job candidates to ensure they are given the greatest chance of success possible when placed with our client companies. If you are looking for that next great boss, contact us today.


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