Sixty percent of working Americans today say they've left a job, or considered leaving a job, because they didn't like their direct supervisor, according to a survey from human resource consulting firm Randstad US.
Though leaving a job may seem like the best solution for retiring a bad boss, that doesn't mean that it's always the best plan for your career. In fact, if you're in a situation where you love your job and the opportunities it presents, then leaving your role because of a difficult boss may not be the best idea.
"The reality is, if you've been in the workforce for a long time then you know that not everybody is easy," multi-generational workplace expert Lindsey Pollak tells CNBC Make It. "Part of becoming successful in your career is dealing with difficult people. It's just a fact of life and it's not fun."
Pollak and Monster.com career expert Vicki Salemi broke down three ways you can deal with a bad boss without quitting a job you love (and one to reserve in case all else fails):
Pollak says that in many cases, a difficult relationship with your boss is often due to differing personalities and habits. One way to mend this relationship, she says, is to closely study your boss's behavior so that you can meet their expectations.
"Become the world's leading expert on your boss or your manager," says Pollak, who is also the author of the book "The Remix: How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workforce."
"How does this person like to communicate? If she hates long emails, stop sending long emails. If she doesn't like it when you drop by her office but reacts better when you schedule an appointment, then learn to always schedule appointments instead of dropping in. If she is not a morning person, don't ask for things in the morning. If this person is really detail-oriented, then triple check your documents before handing them in."
Salemi agrees. She says that if you have a boss who's critical or a micromanager, often the best way to deal with them is to be proactive in meeting their needs. "It's kind of like you're managing them without making it seem like you're managing them," she says.
When dealing with a difficult boss, Pollak says one of the best ways to figure out how to successfully work under their leadership is to talk to other people who you know have been in a similar situation.
"Other people can be a resource, whether it's a mentor, someone at a different company, a coach or people who have worked for this person in the past," she says. "Treat it as a positive and say, 'I really want to be successful working with X. What recommendations do you have?'"
However, she emphasizes, you should never talk about the situation in a negative way, or say you don't like working for your boss. Instead, discuss about the situation in a way that shows your willingness to adapt to make the relationship work.
If talking to other colleagues isn't helpful, then Pollak says one of your last options should be to talk directly to your boss.
Consider your approach carefully. Instead of saying, "We're not getting along. What should we do?", say something to the effect of, "I'd really like to make sure that I'm serving your needs. I'd like to make sure that I'm communicating in a way that's effective for you and I want to make sure that I'm being as productive as possible. Is there anything I can do differently?"
This way, she says, you're approaching the situation by asking how you can help, instead of emphasizing a problem.
If studying your boss and talking to other colleagues still doesn't help, then looking for a new job may be your best bet —especially if your boss is blocking you from a promotion or raise.
According to Salemi, starting the search for a new job will put you in the mindset of knowing that "this is a temporary situation and there are other bosses out there that you deserve."
"As much as you may love your job, having the wrong boss can sometimes be an awful situation," she says. "Set up those job alerts so that they can land in your inbox for free. Get your resume revised and start networking. Even if you feel like, 'I can't do this. I'm working 12 hours a day and I'm exhausted,' the reality is you can and you should make this a priority."
Salemi and Pollak both emphasize that there is a difference between a bad boss who micromanages you and critiques your every move and a toxic boss who may be hostile, rude or even abusive. If you find yourself dealing with the latter, it's appropriate to report your boss to HR.
"I would encourage you to have documentation if it's that egregious," says Pollak. "Have example emails or very specific descriptions of conversations or abusive moments that you can take to human resources or a senior person."
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