Whatever you do, do NOT work just for money!
Would you want to work for the type of boss portrayed here by Will Ferrell?!
The average person works roughly 260 days a year. Accounting for 50 years of employment, we reach an estimated 13,000 working days in our lifetime. That’s a LOT of time. Shouldn’t at least we work for someone we like?
People often judge a job based solely on their compensation. But no amount of money in the world is worth working for someone who will slowly sap your sanity day by day. Some bosses are so toxic they can transform an otherwise peaceful existence into an existential hell. A good manager can make all the difference no matter what your field is, be it office work, field work, retail, or laborer. A good manager knows how to motivate, inspire, drive, energize, empower, etc. (you get the idea)
Before you accept a new position it's important not only just to see what your remuneration will be, but also who you will be reporting too.
So, how do you know your manager will be good?
1. Ask around! Before you take a job working for someone, try and find out a little bit about them.
2. Cyberstalk them! Go through their online profiles, especially LinkedIn. Are they showing stability at work or have they moved around a lot? Do they post videos of themselves or others torturing small animals or attending lectures about humanistic management styles?
3. Ask them about the retention of their team members and get a sense for the attrition rate which might indicate a management problem.
4. If you are being hired to replace someone, find out how long they were on the job for and probe gently about why it is they left.
5. Just ask them! “How would you describe your management style?” Some managers might joke around and say, “I am a real pain to work with”, well the old saying goes, “There’s truth in humor”.
6. When you visit the office try and gauge the mood of the team. Do they look happy or miserable? Sometimes it’s so transparent you should just head for the door.
7. Ask the receptionist. This is a bit touch and go but if he or she seem the talkative type, just say something like, "Any tips for me, when I meet with "Joe". If "Joe" is truly an awful manager they'll often find a nice way to warn you.
If you find yourself working for a manager who is a nasty, negative, or irrational person, head for the hills as fast as you can, even if it means taking a lower paying job in the short term. After all, money doesn’t necessarily trump sanity.
Next week we'll look at some reasons why working for a great manager might be more important than you realize.