Free Career Advice: "I Hate My Boss"

By Barbara Cocoran, REDBOOK

Q:
"My boss just left and her replacement is terrible-she gives me impossible deadlines, flips out a lot, and, all in all, doesn't make work very much fun. Is there anything I can do to let her know this isn't the way things have been done in the past?"

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A: I've worked for good bosses and bad bosses, and I've learned that the person you work for has more to do with your happiness than the work you actually do. Try this to improve your satisfaction on the job:

1. Forget about how things used to be done. The past is past, and your new boss decides how things are run.

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2. Give your boss a chance. Everyone's nervous when they start a new job, and it takes a few months to settle into a new position. Let her get her feet on the ground now, and she may welcome your suggestions later.

3. Focus on doing a great job. Keep a list of what you're doing right. It'll help you stay on track and will come in handy when it's review time. Even if you're not getting recognition, remember that a star still shines under cloudy cover. When you get desperate for a compliment, send yourself flowers at the office. I'm serious. Include a note that says, "Great job!"

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4. Find a place to vent your frustrations, whether it be a shrink's office, a boxing gym, or a yoga mat. But don't vent to your coworkers-you can't take back impolitic words or e-mails once they're out there.

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5. Remember the boss is the boss. If you can't adjust to her style, move on. If the chemistry is just off, everyone will be happier if you find a better fit.


Barbara Corcoran started a small New York City real estate office that grew into the Corcoran Group, a $5 billion business. She's also the coauthor of the best-selling book If You Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails and the real estate contributor to NBC's Today.

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