Dear Coach Joan,
How do I survive this horrible work situation? My new manager is disrespectful, ignores me, and has given my key responsibilities to members of his new team. I feel like I’m invisible and unwanted. I know I need to get a new job but it is so difficult to just get up in the morning knowing I am facing such a negative and destructive environment. It’s not my fault but I just find it so depressing. I’ve had three wonderful managers in my career so far and this is just the worst situation.
I hear your pain. And it is really horrible to go from a positive work environment to a negative one, especially when you are doing the same work that was once appreciated and well regarded. Plus, it is shameful that your new manager is disrespectful, and doing a certain kind of bullying. Yes, ignoring your employee and pulling responsibilities is not only wrong and unethical, but I see it as a kind of bullying.
I have never found anyone who has not experienced THE HORRIBLE BOSS, the truly Wicked Witch.
It seems to be a harsh reality of the work world.
But you can get through it, and here are some proven strategies:
- RECOGNITION – First, acknowledge to yourself that this is truly a WICKED BOSS. Imagine him or her in the costume of the wicked witch from The Wizard of Oz because that is really who s/he is and if you can imagine him in the witches costume it will also give you a good laugh!! Laughing is good. It might not change the situation but it will get you to lighten up and see that he is the JOKE and he is the problem, not you!!
- TEMPORARY – It really helps to know that at some point this Wicked Witch will be just a blip on your career screen!! You will not have this person in your life for long. And you need to determine how long ‘not long’ is. Most people can get a new job within 6 months. So say to yourself, “This is a temporary situation and I can plow through it.”
- GET YOUR GOODIES ELSEWHERE: Whereas you used to get good feelings by being appreciated, recognized and groomed to take on more responsibilities, you are no longer getting much satisfaction at work. Your wicked witch boss is not a source of satisfaction or positive self image at this time. Look to get more involved with your friends, family and or other activities that make you feel good, that make you feel seen and worthwhile.
- TAKE NOTE OF YOUR STRENGTHS/SKILLS/TALENTS: Capture all of the skills, accomplishments and key capabilities you have gotten out of the job so far. Update your resume and Linkedin and for a moment, relish the advancement and contributions that are yours, for always! Contact your past bosses and any peers or colleagues who can reinforce your talents and provide recommendations and job leads for you.
- DAILY REMINDERS TO YOURSELF: Put together a list of things you are most proud of about yourself and your career so far. Look at that list daily. Keep yourself pumped up!
- OWN YOUR CAREER DEVELOPMENT: There’s more than one way to get ahead in your career. If your boss is not giving you opportunities to learn and grow, do it yourself! Identify areas of growth that will increase your career toolbox! Improve your financial skills, communication skills, whatever areas you would like to learn and grow in. You can take classes, webinars, read blogs, books, etc.right on your computer! So take your career development into your own hands, and create the kind of learning and progress you are no longer getting at work.
Daniel, you must be strong. The Wicked Witch has some power but you can be even stronger! You can empower and strengthen yourself.
You can and will get through this temporary situation. The good news is once you’ve recognized and moved past your first horrible boss you will know the drill, and know how to navigate back to a ‘good witch’ scenario!!
Best of luck to you and please use these proven strategies.