A bitchy boss can make your life hell. But don't worry, you're not alone - judging by the fact that this is one of our all-time most-read posts. Here's my advice on getting through the situation without exploding. By Heather Baker, CEO of inbound marketing agency, TopLine Comms
It happens in all industries but perhaps disproportionately in some. People are promoted to leadership positions because they are good at delivering the product or service (or because their employers can’t find anyone else to promote), not because they are good at leadership. Then they’re expected to manage people without any training or guidance, a situation exacerbated by the fact that they’re usually on an enormous power trip. Or, they're promoted because they've earned it, but they're just generally dickheads!
The result is a toxic working environment in which orders are barked, credit is stolen, red ink is abused and good people are publicly humiliated. In some workplaces this is just the tip of the iceberg, and I’ve heard horror stories involving outrageous bullying, manipulating and backstabbing (especially from within PR agencies).
It’s a tricky one, and my first piece of advice is leave. I’ve mentioned before on the blog that there is a skills shortage in the industry (if you're in PR) and if your current job is making you miserable, you should be able to find a better one relatively easily, particularly if you’re a star performer. There’s only so much change you, as an employee, can effect on your organisation, and sometimes it’s just better to cut your losses and move on.
However, I realise this is not always possible, and there is always a trade off between leaving and having a patchy CV, so sometimes you just need to stick it out. If that’s you, you need to find a way of improving your situation. Here are my recommendations:
Working in comms and want to have even the bitchiest of bosses singing your praises? Download our PR Account Manager's Handbook!
The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog was founded by B2B PR specialist Heather Baker, who runs video production and corporate animation agency TopLine Film and digital PR and SEO agency TopLine Comms. The B2B PR Blog takes contributions from sensible industry folk with something interesting to say.
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