At some point in our careers, we’re all guilty of settling for a bad boss. Deep down, we knew we weren’t growing or moving forward because of this person, but why did we stay? Or rather, why didn’t we leave sooner?
There are at least two reason I can attribute:
The “Golden Handcuffs” Predicament
There is no denying most of us adapt our lifestyle to the amount of money we make. So when I ask the question, “what do you want to do next” and the answer is “make more money” I know no matter what they do “more” will never be enough.
The “I Can’t Do Anything Else” Lie
Otherwise known as fear. “I just don’t know what else I can do, I don’t have this degree/experience. I am stuck.” These excuses are utterly blasphemous. Some of the most successful people of all time switched careers or jobs at later stages in their lives.
Reid Hoffman, the Founder of LinkedIn, didn’t start the company until he was 35.
Abraham Lincoln didn’t win his first election until he was 51 and it was for the Presidency of the United States.
Colonel Sanders, the Founder of KFC, didn’t start the business until he was 65.
Clearly, age and experience don’t always dictate future success. This is precisely why you must stop following a bad boss. Change starts when you believe that you are good enough and capable of adding value in other ways than working for a bad boss.
Life is too short to work for a bad boss. I don’t care what company you work for or how much money you make, ask yourself, “Am I becoming a better version of myself working under this person?” If the answer is “no,” it’s time for you to scrap the bad boss. Here are a couple things to you can do to move forward:
Be Willing to Take Risk
Just this week, on the Follow My Lead Podcast, Peter Browning furthered his definition of leadership to be: “the capacity to elicit the wIlling collaboration of others over a sustainable period of time towards a worthwhile goal.”
But he didn’t stop there. He said the biggest breaks in his professional career came from being willing to take risk when opportunity came along. We have a tendency to couple risk with entrepreneurship, but you can be a risk-taker within any organization. Be open and seek opportunities that have risk associated with them. Perhaps there’s a new position being created or new division?
Seek Mentors Outside Your Current Field
Finding mentors that aren’t in your field can be a powerful way network, learn, and seek guidance from when making big life decisions. In my experience, people are more than willing to help someone that is sincere and respectful of their time.
Align Yourself Internally with Other Leaders
Aligning with leaders internally who will pull you up and look out for your best interest. I call this managing up. It’s something emerging leaders do well. Sometimes this means finding leaders in other departments and going out of your way to help or add value to them to create a relationship.
Begin a Side Project this Weekend
John Grisham began writing on the weekend and at night to scratch an itch. He never really planned on making his living being an author, but one thing led to another and now he has written over 25 best-selling books. Often, when we start doing things we are passionate about. we end up meeting others that share the same passion and opportunities present themselves.
If you’re working for a less-than stellar boss, it’s time for a change. Keep in mind a quote I saw from Bob Goff this week: “Don’t do things that work, do things that last.” Do something today that will move you towards doing things that last.
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John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft and Host of the Follow My LeadPodcast. He is passionate about the development of people. He writes, and speaks about modern leadership and learning techniques. You can find him on instagram @johngeades.