The Desk

November 21, 2010

Career Tip: My Insufferable Boss

D-Day has happened in your career life. Your boss, your unfulfilling job, the long commute, the incredibly long hours, the overwhelming amount of endless work finally got to you. You’re looking for a new job. Interviews are scheduled at discrete times and you’re preparing for each one.

What’s your history been at your place of employment? One of the questions you’ll be asked during at least one of those interviews is what your former employer will say about you. Another surprising question will be what you think about your former place of employment. This is when how tactful you have been will come into play.

It’s one thing to be circumspect and keep your grousing to yourself. The bitter comments you want to share with your “vowed to silence” best friends, chummy co-workers, and relatives may come back to haunt you if you say them aloud to someone else. The pent-up complaints that you key to your journal on Facebook could be read by some unsuspected eyes. Your image rides on how you say the positive as well as express the negative.

Your boss seemed to be out of touch with the job. They needed to be led by the nose through the simplest of things. Even though you were new to the industry, you provided the 20-year veteran through the most common sense strategies. What you say is, “I was a key support person and helped build the business in a lot of critical ways.” Have success stories to demonstrate your insightful additions and statistics available to show growth of business revenue.

You’re talking to the person on the bus or train about the type of day you had. You don’t know this person from the proverbial Adam. They may be the best friend of some person at your office who’s in a critical position. They may be your supervisor’s best friend or neighbor. If you must express your exasperation, talk about how overwhelmed you are with the volume of the work. Share that you see developing a better strategy with getting things done. Take into account that you need to get better organized and keep a schedule or check list. Definitely do not blame your boss for your ills; don’t engage in name calling. Remember, this stranger may be your interviewer the next day – or the friend of that person.

There are ways to say the boss isn’t one you’d keep on your top ten favorites list. The better route is to talk about whatever positives there are. They can then be countered with a tactful reason why they simply don’t amount to enough to keep you at the company.

Reasons that don’t keep you can be the firm is cutting back or the culture simply isn’t a match. This last one will need to be backed up with some of the knowledge you have about the place where you’re interviewing as well as the positive things it has demonstrated as being a desirable place for a person who has your skills and talents that are being offered.

You’re probably getting the picture by this point. Definitely don’t bad mouth your last place of employment nor the boss. Let the fact that you are mature, tactful, and discrete be part of the pluses you bring to the table that aren’t documented on your resume. Let’s leave the talk about my insufferable boss to the comedy show.

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: