In a “perfect” world, managers would support, guide and inspire their team with wisdom and enthusiasm. The sad reality is, however, many managers fall short of this ideal. For whatever reason, rather than lead and motivate, many managers simply hold the title without seizing the opportunities – and responsibilities – the position requires.
As a result, those managers’ teams find themselves unmotivated, directionless and unproductive. If you’re one of those team members, struggling to find meaning and a sense of professional satisfaction while suffering under poor management, take solace in the fact that you’re not alone.
While it’s unlikely there’s any amount of complaining, suggesting or consulting that will cause an ineffectual manager to step up, you don’t have to just “put up with” an unsatisfactory work environment. As an employee, you have more power than you may think over your professional plight. Rather than feel like a victim of circumstances beyond your control, here are some suggestions for improving your situation at work:
- Assess your worth – When you’re the type who becomes frustrated by poor management, you’re likely someone bound for good things professionally. Conscientious employees who want to work hard with a purpose are a valuable commodity in many a workplace. Just because your current manager doesn’t appreciate your dedication doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be a valuable asset elsewhere. Make lists of your strengths, skill set and goals so you can proceed through every day secure in the knowledge that you deserve a better professional experience. That mindset will help you through until other changes can be made.
- Express your concerns with your manager and his or her superiors – You at least need to let it be known that you feel you’re working under the strain of a difficult manager. Present the facts as you see them, describing the actual actions or attitudes your manager displays and how it affects you as his or her team member. Discuss your proposed measures for improvement. Even if it doesn’t change matters, at least you’ve brought the issue out into the open.
- Continue to develop your strengths and skills – Focus on your professional future and seek out opportunities to become an even more valuable employee. This will ensure that your current employment situation doesn’t define your work ethic and goals.
- Conceptualize your “ideal” work – and seek it out – Some of your dissatisfaction may stem from the fact that you’re simply working at a position that doesn’t suit you. Give considerable thought to a position or job you could perform that would give you more of the satisfaction you lack working for your current management.
- Move on – Your current job need not be the end-all and be-all of your career. Put out feelers for new and different jobs either in another department or at another business altogether. You’re only as stuck as you allow yourself to be.
As frustrating as it is working for a difficult manager, it’s important to realize that you can exercise more influence over your job satisfaction than you may be aware. Take steps today to get out from under a difficult manager before he or she brings you down professionally. Say, “No more!” to incompetent management by taking control of your own destiny.
Contact Traverse Career Solutions to help you make your career thrive, despite a difficult manager!