How to Do a Good Job Despite Having a Bad Boss

If you never had an arrogant, authoritative, backstabbing and nagging bad boss, consider yourself lucky. Most people have had at least one that made their working life a living hell.

Resigning from your job might be the best escape plan but in reality, not everyone has the luxury of leaving especially those with pressing financial and familial obligations. Until you find a more suitable opportunity, the only option left at this point is survival. As blogger Jeff Cuellar of Moneysmart.sg would put it, “Don’t quit when things get hard – elevate your “game” to meet challenges.”

But how do we elevate our game? Here are a few good ways to deal with a bad boss:

  1. Be indispensable

If you can (and willing to), master the aspects of your job and make yourself a key employee, then it can work to your advantage. It may lead your boss to see you in a new perspective that can lead to a more agreeable behavior towards you. It can also get you promoted and take you out of your boss’s supervision. Being indispensable at work can present various positive outcomes but most importantly, you will feel the self-satisfaction knowing that you did your very best despite a tough situation.

  1. Stick to who you are and your values

Having a bad boss at work can manifest feelings of powerlessness and resentment, don’t let these change who you are. It’s normal to work on reports to perfection to impress your boss but if you believe what you are asked to do is in conflict with your values and what is right, never buy in.

  1. See things through your boss’s eyes

Putting yourself in your boss’s shoes may not be the best advice you need when you are clouded with his unfavorable behavior towards you, but understanding the place of others can actually change your perspective. Go into the factors of what fears, motivators and hopes that drive their behavior. Your boss’s boss may have brought a multitude of pressures from many sources. The more you understand the reason that your boss is experiencing, the more you’ll be able to get the bigger picture. Empathy can be a powerful tool than merely focusing on our own emotions.

  1. Never fight alone

When battling a tough situation, we always go back to the good old saying that “no man is an island.” Many life survivors triumph over life because they have strong bond with the people around them and that is no exception to demoralized employees. Connecting to your colleagues inside and outside the office is scientifically proven by experts to help you reduce boss-induced stress. Other ways of building social relationships with colleagues can also be in the form of appreciating them and celebrating small/big victories—this positive karma will surely find its way back to you.

At the end of it all, it is you who is in control of your own career and it can be in many forms—that includes dealing with a bad boss. And it doesn’t have to be a painful one.

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Why Do You Work Long Hours?

There is nothing wrong if you work hard. In fact, the culture of Singaporeans is centred in hard work. Many people here spend most of their time in the office. That is productive but as time goes by, the stiff work environment makes many less and less productive.

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What is the primary reason behind this? The reason is a no-brainer. Many people here work long hours. Why do you work long hours? Here are the motives:

1. You feel obliged to work late. Your boss will tell you that it is okay to go home but you cannot just leave him/her so you take long hours too. You feel obliged to work late because you do not want to leave a bad impression. You want your boss to think that you are enthusiastic about work.

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2. You feel overburdened. When you are working for SMEs (Small Medium Enterprise), you tend to feel overburdened just to keep up with MNCs (Multi-National Companies). The truth is, six out of ten employees here in Singapore asserts that they are overworked.

3. Little to no incentive programs. If there are no incentive programs, employees tend to work hard to cover up everything. There are others who are only “passing the time” because they are not motivated leading to unproductivity.

That’s it. If you work long hours and you are unhappy, you have to remember your goals so you can endure everything. If you cannot revive the enthusiasm, look for other jobs. The important thing here is you find the efficiency to push through.

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