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Image / Agenda

Feeling the back-to-work fear? Stop blaming your boss for everything


by Colette Sexton
23rd Sep 2020
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Feeling the back-to-work fear? While your job might be wrecking your head, it’s important to keep perspective when dealing with your boss


Throughout work and life, we are constantly learning. In general, it is fair to assume that most people are trying their best and that everyone makes mistakes at some stage. Yet often people are unable to translate this level of understanding to their managers. Some people are unforgiving of their managers and expect them to almost act as mind readers. 

Many people blame their bosses for every little thing that goes wrong in their work-life without looking at their own behaviour. Here are some common complaints about managers and why, if you often find yourself uttering them, you should think twice. 

“My manager never listens to me”

Often, people complain that their manager ignores their input even when they are sharing good ideas and solutions to problems. But are you communicating your ideas to your manager correctly?

Look at your method of communication. Do you interrupt your manager when they are in the middle of something by physically going into their office? Do you send them an email even though you know they have 10,000+ unread emails? The best way to communicate with them is to intimate how they communicate with you. If they book in meeting time to discuss ideas; if they send you an instant message; if they send you a detailed email; or they like a casual coffee to discuss ideas, then replicate that behaviour for them.

Also, assess how clearly you are sharing your ideas. If you are not receiving any positive feedback from your boss, then look at how you communicate. Share your idea with a trusted friend or colleague (as long as it is not confidential) and get their feedback on whether it is the life-changing idea you believe it to be or whether it falls a bit flat. 

“My manager does not give me interesting work”

Many workers get frustrated when their manager gives them mundane, repetitive tasks and refuses to give them any interesting work. It might seem that they are keeping all of the interesting work for themselves. But before you accuse them of micromanagement, maybe ask yourself why they do not trust you.

Did you let them down on a previous project? Do you honestly have enough experience to do this work? Does your manager have some confidential information about the work that they are unable to share with you? Try to get the whole picture before you start pointing the finger. 

“My manager won’t stand up for me”

Your manager might tell you how great you are, but you aren’t seeing that reflected in your salary or promotions. They won’t pass on your ideas to top management, and they refuse to get you special treatment in any way. It is probably upsetting you that your manager is telling you that you are a valued employee, but then they are not proving that in their actions.

Again, your manager probably has an insight into the company that you do not have. Maybe the business had a tough quarter. Maybe there is a position opening up that would be suitable for you in a few months. Maybe there are other internal pressures on management that cannot yet be communicated to staff. 

Whatever your complaints about your boss, you do have an option. If they are so awful, then start applying for a new job. But if the problem really is with you, then it will follow you to your next role, regardless of who your boss is. 


Read more: Dreading going back to work? 5 ways to make your return to the office more bearable

Read more: These 4 bad work habits are getting in the way of your success

Read more: Books you should read if you’re thinking about a career change

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