Dear J.T. & Dale: My department was given a new supervisor a year ago. He is an older worker who has not stayed current with technology, but still knows it all, and if you don’t believe it, ask him. He moved me into a leadership role, and my reward is his constant jealousy. He often calls me down, despite the successes of my team and the money we have saved the company. I have started looking for a better job. I really need advice. – Angie
J.T.: I’m glad to hear that you are looking for work because that would be my first advice. Now, ramp up your search. First, create an Interview Bucket List – that’s a list of the best companies in your area that hire people like you. Next, start researching those companies online to find people you could talk to.
Then, here’s the secret to turning meetings into job offers: With your experience, I’m sure you’ll spot problems you could help those companies fix. Find their pain and be the aspirin. Doing this, you’ll not only meet people who will respect your knowledge, but they’ll want to refer you to open positions, even to ones that haven’t been publicly posted. That’s how you open the door to the “hidden job market.”
DALE: I don’t disagree. However, let me offer you my best advice about difficult people. I was looking for a way to explain to my three kids that most people are basically good, despite all the evidence to the contrary. So here’s the rule: Every 10th person you meet is a jerk, and the other nine are jerks one-tenth of the time.
You see the beauty of this – that despite annoyances, you can hold strong in your conviction of basic goodness. Getting back to your situation, Angie, it certainly sounds as though your boss falls into the 1-in-10. You probably would be wise to go elsewhere. However, this is an opportunity to work on the endlessly useful art of getting along with difficult people. The key is to treat the difficult ones as unusually valuable – it confuses them.
So, ask for advice. Ask for help thinking through problems. They need to feel indispensable. Meanwhile, remind yourself that there is good in that person. Even if no one sees it, there’s good inside. It’s there. God put it there. Yes, God.
Talk to the good, and the rest will follow.
J.T.: That’s a beautiful sentiment. However, while you’re working on being noble, practice proactive job searching. Think how much easier it will be at the next job: After a manager like this one, you’ll be the most appreciative employee your new employer has ever seen.
© 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
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