Advertising
Advertising

10 Things Only Bosses Understand

10 Things Only Bosses Understand

“By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.” – Robert Frost

Plenty of employees love to hate their boss, but what about you?

Maybe you resent the tasks you’re saddled with. Perhaps you’re fed up of being micro-managed. Maybe you have aspirations to jump in the hot seat yourself.

Despite usually falling into either the “love ’em” or “hate ’em” camp, life is far from straightforward for the boss.

Whether you’re tiring of your own boss, have future ambitions to climb the corporate ladder, or you’re already enjoying the perks power, let’s take a look at some of the things only bosses would understand.

1. You can’t switch off.

Far from being able to clock-out and skip cheerily to the nearest bar without a care in the world, you carry your burdens with you everywhere you go. You’re constantly reminded of tasks that haven’t been done. Always thinking of what tomorrow will bring, never being able to completely let go.

Advertising

And then there’s your staff. Are they on your side? Motivated? Happy?

It’s easy to underestimate all the pressure that running a successful business brings.

2. You know they’re talking about you.

Being a boss means making tough decisions. It means keeping your distance. Sometimes, it even means that you’ll have to part company with good people, despite knowing the devastating financial implications that will bring.

On occasion, you’ll need to ruffle a few feathers. In better times, you’ll be patting people on the back and offering words of encouragement.

No matter the situation, though, you’ll always be the focus of attention. Always the talking point. With any luck, you’ll be the subject of kind words and admiring glances. But experience tells me you’re going to have to get used to being the bad guy.

3. You don’t understand why your staff don’t give a flying fig.

I hate to break it to you, but most people really don’t care that much about how well the company is doing. I mean, sure, some will appreciate the overtime and almost everyone is glad to have a job, but they’re definitely not that bothered about hitting sales targets or breaking any productivity records.

Advertising

It’s a job. They clock-in, they clock-out. And they want that unfortunate time in-between known as work to be as easy and painless as possible. If they can get away with doing just a little bit less for the same rewards, they will.

Sorry about that.

4. You work more but earn less.

One of the biggest misconceptions about bosses and business owners is that they are swimming in cash. But those fortunate souls who are running a business often work far longer hours, and for less money than they pay their employees. Paid overtime doesn’t exist once you ascend the ranks. If your workload requires you to work long into the night, that is what you must do.

And there’ll be no slap on the back, no gratitude—just the murmurings of your staff, wondering why you’re tired and grouchy today.

5. You don’t have anyone to turn to.

There is a security blanket afforded to employees: Mess up a task and a helping hand is never too far away. Need some advice? You’re co-workers will invariably steer you in the right direction.

As a boss, though, you’re on your own. Mistakes are reflected in the bottom line. Rash judgments are now brutally exposed to all. The buck stops with you.

Advertising

6. You’re drowning in bullshit.

Far from being the glamorous gig that many imagine, being a boss means you’ll be dealing with many infuriating, time-sucking tasks. Even with a great team to delegate work to, you’d better get used to dealing with daily mundane queries and tackling an assortment of unexpected issues.

Get used to morphing from trusted confidante, motivator, relationship counselor, bad cop, good cop, life coach and everything in-between: Everyone is going to want a piece of you.

7. You don’t sleep as well

Being the boss takes its toll. The targets, budgets, arguments, appraisals, hiring, firing and selling can leave you a frazzled shell of your former self. Late nights and early starts wear you down and cause you to question every decision and thought. Which then means you start to doubt the outcome. It’s a vicious circle.

No more drifting off into a dreamy, blissful slumber for you—Waking to a cold sweat, fretting about looming deadlines is now the norm.

8. You don’t know what the hell you’re doing.

You’re not always right. And sometimes, you’ll need to make a decision or take a stance purely on gut instinct. It’s a fine balance.

Your team need to know you’re in control. But now and again, you’re not. The trick, is to never appear flustered; always projecting a sense of calm and control… despite not having the slightest clue how things are going to pan out.

Advertising

9. You don’t even know why you’re doing this.

What with the stress, the hours, the pay, the lack of praise and the general disinterest of others, you can be forgiven for doubting your cause, because being a boss is mainly a thankless task.

People expect their wages on-time, every-time. They expect thanks, praise, direction and understanding. The tough decisions, acts of kindness and carefully planned long-term strategies largely go unnoticed.

But that’s fine, because…

10. You wouldn’t have it any other way.

There’s that little something that burns inside of you—a flame that very few possess.

It means that no matter how hard your day, or how difficult the path you tread, you simply couldn’t contemplate settling for mediocrity. Fleeting temptations to jack it all in and take the easy option are just that. They barely last a few moments.

You have to push on. You have to improve. You have to better yourself.

And these are things that only bosses would understand.

More by this author

10 Things Only Bosses Understand 10 Benefits Of Being Self-employed 10 Benefits Of Being Self-employed 15 Simple Ways To Save Money on Groceries And Still Eat Well Being Single: What It’s About And Why It May Be The Best Way To Live Your Life

Trending in Work

1 The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career 2 How to Be a Successful Businessman (The Complete Guide) 3 10 Essential Career Change Questions To Ask Yourself This Year 4 The Art of Building Relationships You Need to Succeed in Your Career 5 20 Best Places to Work for a Great Career in 2019

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

Advertising

Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

Advertising

Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

Advertising

Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

Advertising

  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next