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I Hate My New Boss, What Can I Do?

What can you do when the job you've loved for years suddenly changes?

I Hate My New Boss, What Can I Do?
[Photo: Flickr user Rebecca Wilson]

So much goes into making a good job: rewarding work, relationships with coworkers, a good work-life balance. But when one element is missing, a job you love can quickly turn into one that makes you miserable.

This week, leadership coach Lolly Daskal helps a reader deal with a new boss that's ruining the job she used to love.

Hello,

I've been at the same company for eight years. I don't love my job, but I've liked it enough until recently. I'm in a small department and my manager is driving me crazy. He started at the company about a year ago and his overly emotional, micromanaging style does not suit me. My department colleagues have been able to adjust to his personality or avoid him completely. Because we work closely on major projects, neither is an option. I have to deal with his emotional outbursts and oversensitivity more often than my colleagues do.

I've discussed my issues with him and with HR, but nothing has really changed. Because there is no option for a department transfer, I think my only other choice is to quit. I dread coming to work because of my manager. I'm stressed out and it's beginning to affect my well-being.

I know I should find another job before I quit this one. But I don't think I can wait that long. We're about to start a major project that I will be managing. Given the way I feel, what is my obligation to the rest of the team? Should I give them a heads-up before I give notice? I don't want to leave them hanging with just two weeks' notice, but honestly, I don't know how much longer I can last.

Thanks for your time.
Miserable Marketer


I’m sorry that you’re in such a tough situation, but good for you in deciding to protect your health and happiness by changing jobs. Here are some thoughts about how you can look out for your team members as you move on.

Honor Your Feelings. Think through your feelings and try to come to terms with them. If you’re experiencing feelings of guilt at leaving others behind, know that’s a normal response (and remind yourself that not everybody shares your issues with the new manager). The more you deny what you feel, the stronger those feelings become. Honor your need for a change and everything that comes with it.

Start At The Top. Begin by telling your boss that you’re leaving—don’t ever let them hear it from someone else. Think ahead of time about what you want your public statement to be about why you’re leaving, and keep that statement consistent. Ideally it will be focused on positives, such as a new challenge and opportunities for advancement. Your HR rep will probably know otherwise, and others may have their suspicions, but you will have handled the part that’s within your control.

Talk To Your Team. Once your boss knows, talk to your team. You may be tempted to spill your heart, but it’s best for you and for them if you keep it simple and stick to your prepared reasons.

Plan The Transition. Especially with a major project in the works, make sure you leave your team with every opportunity to shine and excel without you. Work with both your team and upper management to the degree you are able to plan out roles and responsibilities. Be certain that people have any files and information they need to work without you.

Leave Only Golden Footprints. Never make the mistake of trashing your former employer or anyone there. You may gain a few moments of emotional satisfaction, but it comes at a high price. It casts you as a gossip and malcontent, which won’t help your networking or future prospects. It may interfere with your references. And you never know—things may even change at the company in such a way that you’d want to return. HR already has your grievances, so focus on leaving with grace.

Good luck with your next adventure! Use everything you’ve learned at this job, and hold on to your determination to make the best of things.


If you have a dilemma you’d like our experts to answer, send your questions to AskFC@fastcompany.com or tweet a question using #AskFC.

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