by Arlene S. Hirsch
April 15, 2008
Work can be miserable when you and your boss don't get along. At times, quitting may seem to be the only option.
When she was a working journalist, Jill Geisler decided she didn't want to work for someone she remembers as a "gloriously imperfect" boss. "Picture Anthony Quinn, Vince Lombardi, and Hawkeye Pierce all rolled into one man," she says. "Volatile. Demanding. Larger than life."
Ms. Geisler, now a group leader in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the Poynter Institute, a training center for journalists, sought advice from a mentor, who counseled her to get to know her boss before making a rash career decision. Now she's glad she did.
She and the man she didn't want to work for are good friends who laugh about their rocky start 15 years ago. Despite differing styles, they both valued high-quality journalism and community service. Once Ms. Geisler had earned her supervisor's trust and respect, she could question and challenge his decisions and even nag him about his idiosyncrasies.
One reason the relationship succeeded is that Ms. Geisler took responsibility for making it work. Her candor became the foundation for a close and fruitful professional partnership.
If you work for an imperfect boss, what are you prepared to do about it? These suggestions from consultants and employment experts can help you to improve your relationship with a new or long-time supervisor: