If there’s one constant in business it’s the constant of change. Many times employees bear the brunt of this change. Organizations restructure departments and managers come and go. Getting a new boss is one of the most stressful changes an employee will experience.
I speak from experience on this topic. In the past two and a half years at the same company I’ve had four different managers. Every time I got word that my manager was changing I was filled with anxiety, frustration, and fear. What if I don’t like my new boss? What if he or she doesn’t like me? What if we have incompatible work styles? What if the new boss is demanding or wishy-washy?
A good boss and a bad boss can make or break a job. Great leaders know people leave managers, not companies. So what can an employee do? Are employees at the mercy of their manager?
Each time I got a new boss I did some things wrong and some things right. The biggest mistake I made when getting a new boss was focusing on my manager instead of my performance. My situation greatly improved when I started working with my new manager to accomplish common goals, focusing on my own productivity.
Additionally, when I stopped keeping a mental list of all the things I didn’t like about my new boss I started noticing my new boss had a lot of great qualities and made my work experience better in many ways.
While a manager’s leadership has a major impact on his or her employees, the employee’s attitude and actions are equally important. You have a greater influence over your job than you may realize. A purposeful and productive attitude not only improves your experience, it will positively affect your situation. Your new boss is likely to respond to your positive attitude with friendliness, support, and encouragement.
Each time I got a new boss without changing jobs I learned effective ways to manage the change. Here’s how can you make the best of a new boss?
Focus on today
Your old boss is gone and you may be happy or sad to see him go. Either way, it’s time to leave the past in the past and work with what you have today. Your new boss may be better or worse, but you’re guaranteed to feel frustrated and stuck if you spend too much time comparing what you had to what you have.
Getting a new boss is a great opportunity to enjoy a fresh start. Decide what kind of worker you want to be and be that. Use this opportunity to build your best reputation.
Find common goals
Talk to your new boss and find out what his or her goals are for you, for himself, and for the department. Discover common goals and work together to accomplish great things! Focus on solutions, not problems.
Offering help is an effective way to break the ice, get to know someone new, and build a mutually beneficial relationship. Networking starts with giving.
Being helpful is very empowering! Don’t forget, you have awesome skills to contribute!
Discover new opportunities
The change in leadership may bring new opportunities for you. Maybe there’s a skill you’ve want to learn, or a training you want to attend that your new boss will support. There may even be new positions opening up if your company has recently reorganized. Discover what opportunities are available to you and make the most of them.
Give the new boss a chance
Being a manager was a much harder job than I realized and being a new manager is harder! Your new boss is a human being, and as such he is likely to make mistakes just like you. Give your new boss a chance to settle in and learn the ropes because that’s the chance you’ll want your employees to give you when you’re the new boss.
Interacting productively and positively with your new boss will improve your work experience and your relationship with your new boss. Avoid complaining and focusing on the stuff you don’t like. Instead, seek collaboration and opportunities and make the best of your situation, even as it changes.
Much of what happens at work will be out of your control, what you can control is your attitude and behavior- make the choice to put your best self forward!
Image courtesy of Nicola Corboy