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7 Kinds Of Toxic Bosses You Need To Avoid

7 Kinds Of Toxic Bosses You Need To Avoid

Sometimes you find yourself in an office setting with a boss that is less than ideal. Taking into account human nature, at some point managers or bosses are going to make mistakes or treat you somewhat unkindly. However, when that behavior creeps to a different level, and you end up with a toxic boss, you will of course need tools to be able to spot them. For that reason, I have compiled this list of the 10 different kind of toxic bosses.

1. The Tyrant

Usually the easiest to spot, the tyrant is the type of toxic boss who is concern with only their own ego. The tyrant makes every decision in a manner that will only benefit themselves. The tyrant is Machiavellian in nature. Anyone who challenges the status quo is seen as an up-riser and is squashed. This person doesn’t build team moral; rather, they divide and conquer, make seemingly arbitrary decisions, and take every chance to remind you that they are in charge.

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2. The Inappropriate Buddy

Growing up, everyone had a buddy with a dad or uncle who was always “just trying to be one of the guys.” This parental figure would talk to you about members of the opposite sex, about going out and having fun, or about school as if they were there with you. The innappropriate buddy is the workplace version of the same thing. This toxic boss will use their place of authority to make sure you are their friend. Whether or not they mean to, they create workplace division and will inevitably dig up some office gossip that will prove detrimental to someone. 

3. The Promoted-Too-Fast

This person has less than a year’s worth of experience over you, but that did not stop the company from moving this achiever up the corporate ladder too soon. Arguably the worst type of toxic boss to have, this person will be in charge of people with more experience. They will resent every effort those workers make to do their jobs. Constantly in over there head, there is no saving this person – they are doomed. The panic in their eyes says they know it.

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4. The Swoop-In

This toxic boss is usually fairly disengaged in work, which makes it mostly bearable for a good portion of the time. You get to kick back and hold yourself to their nondefined standards. However, when someone higher above the swoop-in comes calling about progress, this boss will show up, misunderstand the situation, make illogical demands of you, and leave. It’s so not terrible, as long as they don’t hold you to those demands once their supervisors find something more interesting.

5. The Innovator

When you first meet them, the innovator seems like an amazing boss to work for. They have all the brilliant ideas. They want you to expand your creativity in executing those ideas. The fault of the innovator is two-fold: they never stop innovating long enough for you to see the ideas to execution, and they have no idea what the end product of their idea would look like.

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6. The Robot

The defining feature of the robot is that they don’t seem to have a need for sleep. Or food. Or social contact, for that matter. This person has memorized all of the benchmarks their department is required to meet. They are relentless in driving you towards just one more ounce of productivity. They don’t even feel a certain way about making you work a billion hours to hit a specific goal. Basically, if they can work 14 hour days every day for eight years, then why can’t you?

7. The Micromanager

When working for a micromanager, you may constantly feel as though you should just give them your work and tell them to do it for you. A micromanager will never be happy with the format of the spreadsheet you used, or the color ink you wrote a note in. They will spend extra time trying to teach you things that you already know, all the while missing meetings and deadlines of their own because what you are doing just needs to be done correctly, dammit. 

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Featured photo credit: John Angry/Oboyah Za3lan via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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