with Amy Urquhart
I’m Amy and I’ve spent the last three years trying to strike that perfect balance between being a wife, mom and professional career woman. I’ve decided that I’ll never perfect the art of “having it all”, but this blog is a chronicle of my attempts to continue to do so. I’m a blogger (my personal blog about Canadian home life is Hearts into Home), gardener, college instructor, wife to Graham and mom to Nate. If you’re also a working mom who finds there just aren’t enough hours in the day, I hope you’ll enjoy this column!
Read her blog at Hearts into Home.
Let me start off by saying that I don’t. My bosses (more than one job = more than one boss) are pretty great, and I feel very lucky because, about a decade ago, I had one that wasn’t.
That water has long gone under the bridge, but still I wish I had noticed the problem earlier — or, at least, felt confident enough to question what I was experiencing. Bad bosses aren’t as glaringly obvious as Bill Lumburgh from Office Space (”Aahh, now, are you going to go ahead and have those TPS reports for us this afternoon?”). It can take years to recover professionally, not to mention emotionally; bad bosses can really do a whack job on your self esteem.
If you’re wondering if you have a bad boss — or if you want to measure just how good your boss is — put your red stapler somewhere safe and then ask yourself:
1.) Would she be willing to do what she just asked me to do? A good boss knows how to delegate; a bad boss will order you to do things that he wouldn’t — or couldn’t — do himself.
2.) Who gets the credit? A good boss will give credit where credit is due — good or bad. A bad boss will take credit for your good work — and possibly leave you holding the bag when he messes up.
3.) Is he even in today? A good boss may be away from his desk, but you know where to find him (or, at least, when he’ll be back). A bad boss will often go missing during critical times — again, leaving you holding the bag.
4.) Whoops. Now what? My good bosses have been generous with praise and constructive about criticism, making me more that willing to own up to my mistakes and to offer up my best ideas for the good of the company. A bad boss will offer excuses for her errors, try to cover up her mistakes — or try to blame you for them.
5.) Does she want me to move up, or move on? A good boss will give you opportunities to learn and grow on the job, to gain new strengths, and to work on your weaknesses. A bad boss will set limits so constricting that your best bet for a promotion may be with another company. Case in point: If you used to do X, then are told to stop doing X, and then are criticized for not doing X, your boss? Is not a good one.
Have you had to deal with a bad boss in your past?
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