Great job, but what about the boss?

I have been having some interesting discussions with a variety of people since I wrote to you last and a lot of it has been around what it is like to work in today’s environment.

When I started work, I had Sticky Stowell who checked all my letters before they were sent out which was a really good education when I was a trainee but not when he still did it when I was fully trained up! I managed to get out on the road selling within a year so I gained my freedom that way. All of my bosses were located in Liverpool branch at the Royal Insurance and when I was eating my sandwiches in Sefton Park (sad I know) there was no way my bosses could get to me. When I arrived at home about 6pm I was not bothered by anybody until 8.30am the next morning.

What is it like today? Your boss could be on another continent never mind another city. Are emails really checked by anybody else when youngsters are being trained up? For the salesperson today, can be tracked wherever they are and be contacted at a minute’s notice through the mobile phone. I remember one of my bosses refused to have a mobile phone for a couple of years as he didn’t want to be interrupted in the smallest room in the building! In business, today the biggest problem is the mobile phone, as most people don’t seem to know how to switch it off and then are surprised when they get their boss on the phone at 9 o’clock at night.

The idea for this newsletter or is it a blog, was the Evening Standard entitled Great job, but what about the boss? By Niki Chesworth and the statistics are from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)

  • 3 in 10 new recruits plan to leave their job in the first 12 months (reality does not meet their expectations)
  • Candidates often fail to take into account leadership styles when looking for a new role
  • Demanding bosses often make the weekend a continuation of the working week
  • Only 23% of employees feel able to discuss stress issues with their managers
  • Micromanagers who do not build trust with their colleagues
  • Managers who marginalise and exclude certain staff
  • Managers who allow their mood to dictate the climate in the work place (half do)

When I career coach, I try and stress that the candidate is interviewing the company as much as they are being interviewed themselves. Try and be armed with questions to see what it will really be like to work there. Ask to visit the office and have a chat with your future colleagues and follow your intuition.

A priority should be authenticity – looking for a leader who can build trust (a fifth rarely do this). This involves being true to your values (if you know what they are!) acting ethically and leading with integrity.

Avoid leaders who are in it for themselves (more than a quarter of leaders are judged to use their position for personal gains)

Avoid leaders that show favouritism in the workplace (four in ten do)

Avoid bullies

Millennials are meant to be more value based. Over the 10 years I have been career coaching it has been evident that older people have strong values too and it is when their company and their own values are misaligned that problems arise and dissatisfaction knags away at people.

I coached somebody (confidentiality is key in coaching) a couple of months ago, when she was really unhappy with a number of things mentioned above and where the owners were just not interested and there was no creative challenge in the job. She went for a job slightly below her level but it is a job where she will be creatively challenged and the company is growing so I have no doubt that she will be highly successful. My coachee did a proper due diligence including looking at the website in detail, putting the interviewers under pressure by asking challenging questions and negotiating a sensible salary package whist she was in the driving seat.

If you or you know of anybody who is unhappy at work and they want a new challenge, please get them to get in touch with me or look at my website

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