Spot A Bad Boss Before the Fact


What kind of boss do you want?  What kind of boss will you get?  A boss’s history is prologue to the future. Will the communications with your new boss be open or closed?  You need to find out!  If you can’t ask these kinds of questions, is this the kind of organization you really want to work? You need insightful answers.


Questions to HR or the recruiter –  Are there individualized development programs?  Are there opportunities to coach rising stars in the firm? Does the company pay for high performance or is there a limited range of pay?  How political is the organization?  What’s the turnover rate in this department?  [If HR or the recruiter doesn’t answer these kinds of questions directly, be more probing.  Don’t’ they know or don’t they want to answer?]

Questions to peers or the boss’ direct reports (if you can’t meet with them, why not?) – Do you personally have a development plan?  Have you been able to expand your skills and responsibilities?  How much coaching have you received?  Do you work as an integrated team or as individual contributors?  What kind of boss is Mr/Ms X? [If no one volunteers to answer, be concerned.  If you’re given wishy-washy responses, try to find out why.  If they appear to be scared little rabbits, run away.]

Questions to the hiring manager (your future boss) – How many of your people have been promoted in the past 5 years?  Have any been let go based on performance?  Is high performance rewarded?  How?  What results will you be looking for me to achieve in the first 180 days? Does the company develop their talent internally, or continually hire from the outside?  What in my background can be put to use immediately? [The degree of openness will be an indicator of future communications with the boss.]

What kind of boss do you need? Identify the type of boss you need to be successful.  Examples of bosses:  1- I’ll leave you alone once objectives are defined.  2- I’ll supervise you very closely at each and every step.  3- I’ll only review your work at critical points.  4- Contact me through my secretary only if you have a problem.  5- Successes are mine. Failures will be yours.  6- I’ll always be available to you, whenever you need my support.  [Which answer fits you?]

Of course all questions must be modified to best fit the company and situation.  Make sure you’re a good fit in the new company.  If not, you’ll be the loser.

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By My Greener Future

My Greener Future is a Job Search Strategy and Career Coaching Company. At My Greener Future, you will be connected with industry coaches who care about you and your career as much as you do. They will work with you to create your very own custom career plan and support you in achieving your short term and long term career goals. Join My Greener Future TODAY and see how it will change the way you think about your career.

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