How to Cope with Working for a Bad Boss

A Bad Boss
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Maybe you started your job and everything seemed great. But then as you got to learn your boss’s managerial style a bit better, you realized why the company had this opening to begin with.

Your boss could be a micromanager, or unresponsive when you need them, or just downright mean to other employees.

No matter what the reason, the fact is you just view them as a bad boss. Like the Wall Street Journal explains, sometimes you have to learn how to mitigate dealing with an unpleasant personality.

Here are strategies for the most common abrasive bosses.

Never Available

Even if you prefer a hands-off boss, eventually you need to get ahold of them. That’s especially true if you are a new hire who’s still learning. But this boss is either so busy or just so checked out of the job that it’s always a struggle to get any time to talk to them.

It might just be that you need to learn how they prefer to communicate, whether that’s in person, by email, or via text. Or you might just have to learn to be concise in your approach to ensure they have time for you. If all else fails, you may even need to find a second in command to start reporting to.


This boss never seems to trust anyone else to do things right. They want every little detail their way and give you no breathing room to figure out what methods work best for you.

They might act that way due to bad incidents in the past. You can try and assuage this boss by giving them regular communication to convey how you are on top of everything. Being upfront with them might help them learn to trust you more.


There’s no denying some bosses are just plain mean. They berate everyone, spread unprofessional gossip, and just have everyone on edge when they’re around.

These bosses often can’t be reasoned with, so you just have to be sure you are documenting any incidents. If you and any others are keeping records of bad behavior, it can help with laying out reasons to someone higher up why this person is detrimental to the company.

Sometimes it’s just about knowing what technique you need for your boss’s personality. However, if nothing works, you do always have the option to look for work elsewhere.

Need more help with how to deal with a bad boss? Check out the Wall Street Journal story for more ideas here.


Is your boss a case of narcissism and bullying? Does he take credit for all your work? If that is the case then this Skillopedia session discusses ways to deal with a nasty boss.


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