Dealing With a Bad Boss

March 22nd, 2019

Do you have a bad boss? Or do you just have a difficult boss who challenges you for the right reasons? A “challenging” boss isn’t a terrible person or an inept manager; they just push you outside your comfort zone. A bad boss, by comparison, isn’t good for you or your career and isn’t helping you grow. Bad bosses don’t push you outside of your comfort zones; they just make you uncomfortable.

So, what’s the difference, and which one are you dealing with? Here’s how to tell.

How do you feel after a conversation ends?

You’ve had a difficult interaction and your boss is now walking away. How do you feel? Are you excited to get back to work? Do you feel as though you may have fallen short this time, but you know what to do going forward, and you can’t wait to take another shot? If that’s the case, you probably have a “difficult” boss. Yes, you tense up at the sound of her footsteps. But afterward, you feel motivated to impress her with your next attempt. When a bad boss walks away, you simply feel demoralized. You wish you could leave the office and not come back.

Do you have a roadmap?

A difficult boss may not seem to love your work, but she gives you a clear roadmap from wherever you are to a point of success. She’s like a demanding coach—she’ll make you run a hundred laps, but you know exactly why you’re running them. You know where you need to go, and you trust her to get you there. A bad boss just doesn’t love your work, period. He offers no guidance or direction and makes no effort to earn your trust or help you improve. If you follow where he leads, you’ll move in circles until the day you decide to stop.

Do you have support?

Your first attempt may have been a mess, but your second was an obvious improvement. How does your boss react? A difficult boss gives encouragement when it’s due (even if reluctantly). A bad boss gives nothing. In fact, he may give you the runaround when you ask for the minimum resources your job requires, including data, better tools, a raise or help with a problem.

Are you truly miserable?

Toxic or abusive relationships aren’t always easy to spot and stop right away. If they were, they would never happen. Instead, the true nature of the relationship slips in unnoticed and builds for a long time before it’s recognized and addressed. Take a moment to assess the situation objectively, without making any excuses for yourself or the other person. If you don’t like what you see, you CAN do better. Talk to the experts at PSU and start planning your move to a better job somewhere else.

How to Write Better Job Descriptions

March 8th, 2019

Want better candidates? Try writing better job descriptions. Even if your company has a strong reputation, your product practically sells itself, and the job comes with great perks and benefits, you’ll still need to confront a universal truth about job seekers: They tend to place themselves in the job as they imagine it, and if they can’t see themselves doing this type of work day after day, they aren’t likely to apply.

So make sure they imagine themselves into a role that’s appealing, challenging in a good way, and a necessary step on the path to larger career success. Here are a few ways to make that happen.

Be honest and descriptive.

Too much text can backfire (more on this in a minute), but within bounds, provide as much honest information as you can about the daily realities of the job. Using vague, empty terms won’t help. For example, skip phrases like “a dynamic environment” or “We need a real go-getter” or “Looking for a high-energy individual with the skills it takes to succeed!” What skills are those, exactly? You’ll accomplish more if you can be more specific.

Keep your description short and readable.

You don’t want your readers to tune out and move on before they reach the best part. So keep each sentence and phrase short and packed with substance. No empty, endless rambling. Your best candidates are busy and they’re in high demand. They can get jobs anywhere they want, so don’t expect them to read five long pages of obvious or non-valuable information. Start with three short paragraphs: 1) why your company is great, 2) what the job entails and requires, and 3) the perks and benefits that come with the job.

Offer what others can’t.

Of course, this can be challenging if you genuinely don’t have anything to offer that sets you apart from similar employers. For example, maybe you expect the candidate to file reports all day, and you intend to pay a fair wage and standard benefits in return. Big deal, right? Not really. But think hard; what is it about this place that makes your company special? And what can you offer that might light a spark of interest or help your reader understand that this job could boost her career? Will she learn a unique skill while serving in this role? Will she be up for advancement within one year? Will she be able to travel or set her own hours?

For more on how to add something special, catchy, or attention-grabbing to your job description that can help you nab strong candidates, turn to the staffing experts at PSU.

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