Horrible Bosses: How to Protect Yourself in the Workplace

Posted November 14, 2014 by
Boss shouting at employee

Boss shouting at employee. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

As a recent college graduate jumping into the world of work, an already daunting experience can be made worse if your new boss is scarier than Freddy Krueger telling a ghost story.

With your wet behind the ears appearance, shiny briefcase and overenthusiastic grin, it’s easy for a terrifying manager to systematically dragoon you into becoming his or her errand boy.

Suddenly your fancy college degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, as your sinister superior guffaws through a cloud of cigarette smoke and fires off another lewd email to blight your inbox.

This isn’t what you signed up for.

While it’s easy to call in sick – or resign – in an effort to avoid their appalling behaviour, your employer could actually be in hot water if they’re laughing in the face of employee regulations.

Rather than burying your head in the sand, or having sand kicked in your face for that matter, you should be prepared to stand up and be counted, lest your tenure drips with stress at every turn.

Need help bashing the bully? Find out how to protect yourself in the workplace by reading our top tips below …

Seek Professional Help

If you’ve obtained all your legal knowledge from repeat viewings of Ally McBeal and Suits, it’s probably a good idea to avoid taking on your employer singlehanded. Instead, you should get in touch with employment law specialists who can run the rule over the case against your boss.

If you have a case, they’ll talk you through the next steps and what you can do to protect yourself from the wrath of your ghastly gaffer. Additionally, the experts will often act as a go-between you and your employer to find a solution that suits all parties.

Talk To Your Colleagues

It’s unlikely your boss is singling you out for a browbeating, so talk to your colleagues and find out how they deal with the situation. This should arm you with enough information to decide whether it’s worth confronting the problem head on.

Alternatively, you may wish to go above your boss’s head (if applicable) and talk to their superior. However, this approach can backfire if your leader’s leader is more truculent than a hungry Mike Tyson at the World’s Biggest Ears competition.

Meet the Problem Head-On

Most people simply can’t stomach the prospect of confrontation, especially in the workplace, but if your boss’s behaviour is leaking into other parts of your life and causing you undue stress, it’s perhaps time to confront them in a strategic and non-threatening manner.

Easier said than done, right? Wrong. When dealing with a repugnant leader, try to stick to your principles and avoid becoming emotional, as this allows them to strike while you’re vulnerable. Instead, be careful to pick and choose your battles, and produce evidence to back up your claims.

Now it’s over to you …

How would you deal with a belligerent boss when you’re fresh out of college? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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