Tue 29 Mar 2011
I’ve been spending a lot of time with Gen Yers lately & so many of them are telling me how shocked & disillusioned they are when they enter the workplace. I think that we can all relate to how surprised & often underwhelmed we were when we started working as young adults. I know I can.
With Gen Yers specifically, I think the shock is greater because they’ve always had a lot of support & guidance from their parents, educators & career counselors. In talking to Gen Yers who have made the transition from college to a career and have been working for a number of years, I find that a few things particularly shock them when they start to work. One of the biggest is the expectations they have of their boss.
Like many of us once did, Gen Yers believe they will work for a boss who cares about them, wants to mentor them and helps them advance their careers. Yet the reality is that there are whacko bosses in corporate America – and they often prevail over the good ones. It’s one of the hardest & most disappointing realities we face as employees. I remember how disillusioned I was when I worked for my first whacko boss. Can you?
What I realized is how important it is to understand what types of crazy bosses are out there so you can spot them & learn how to deal with them. Another hard reality of being an employee is that you will always have to deal with batty bosses. It doesn’t matter what company you work for – the names will change but the battiness will remain.
In my experience I’ve found that there are 5 types of Batty Bosses. The first one that comes to mind is Mr. Scheemy. Of course, it can be a Ms. or Mrs. Scheemy as well.
Just like the name implies, this boss is a schemer. He says he’s your champion and sees you going far in the organization. You work hard to show your commitment.
When the annual review arrives, he describes all the things he tried to do “for you,” how he went to bat for you but couldn’t get you what he promised or what you had hoped. The truth is he never went to bat for you or anyone else. He’s no one’s champion but his own.
Sound familiar? I’ve worked for a Ms. Scheemy & at first, the experience was not pleasant. I complained, I was angry & was ready to quit. Then a wise person in the company asked me this: “Do you think this company has exclusive rights on crazy bosses? So you quit & go work for another company. What makes you believe you won’t find another Ms.Scheemy there?”
Wow. Good questions and tough to answer. He was right. From what I could tell batty bosses were everywhere at work. I had nightmares where I saw myself job hopping from one company to another in search of the good boss that might never appear. Not a good visual.
So I decided to take control of my career instead of putting it in the hands of Ms. Scheemy. I’ll share how I did that in the next post when I talk about Batty Boss #2: Mr. Schmingle.
What about you? Do you work for a Ms. Scheemy? Are you giving her control of your career or taking control back?
Hey, college grads… What questions are you asking in your job interviews to find out if your boss is batty. Stay tuned to find out more about that, too!