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Career Growth: Does Your Boss Value & Support You?

Are you considering a job search? If so, a boss who dismisses your contributions or takes credit for your work might have prompted your decision. Career growth under those conditions challenges many people and turns them into job seekers.

“Me-First” Boss Can Block Your Career Growth

Insecure bosses often suspect good employees will try to take their job. This attitude can block your professional growth.

How does that happen? The boss could downplay the value you’ve contributed. Alternatively, he or she might keep you in the background instead of bringing you to the company’s attention as a valuable employee.

Worse still, you might experience frustration over a boss who constantly takes credit for your work. Also, you will struggle for internal career advancement if your boss stands squarely in your path.

Find a Good Boss!

Are you stuck with a bad (unsupportive, career-sabotaging) boss? Consider conducting a stealth search for a better boss. Keep your eyes open for one who will value the work you do and support your career development. You need a boss who lets you know when you’ve done a good job and, most importantly, lets others know it, too.

Start by surveying the situation within your company. Can you identify managers who treat employees well? For example, do they praise their employees for good work and have people eager to join their team? If so, look for opportunities to transition to their group.

When no clear inside opportunity exists, conduct a careful “boss search.” Don’t just look for a promising job opportunity. Instead, look for hiring managers known for team building and staff development. Talk with people who work at target companies and investigate what it’s like to work for managers there. If you don’t perform your due diligence, you’ll regret it later.

Think of this as like pre-marriage dating! If the initial situation suggests a good, possibly long-term relationship, you’re more likely to be satisfied with it later.

Career Growth: Steps to a Supportive Boss

Regardless of where you are on the career ladder, you can take steps to connect with a supportive boss. At the same time, you’ll increase your odds for sustained career growth.

  1. Make sure your current boss isn’t “fixable”–that is, his/her attitude appears chronic–before you decide to make a move.
  2. Double-check that your own outlook doesn’t contribute to the negative view your boss has; if it does, do what you can to change it.
  3. Deliver your best-possible work performance every day while you start researching new job opportunities and better bosses.
  4. Sound out people whose opinions you respect and take those into consideration as you develop your job search plan; then execute your plan.
  5. Vet potential new bosses as carefully as you do the job opportunity and the company you would work for. Jumping from the frying pan into the fire won’t increase your career or job satisfaction!

You and your (new) boss will spend a lot of time together. Do your best to ensure that it’s a strongly positive relationship from start to finish.

P.S. You might enjoy reading this article from Harvard Business Review about someone who sounds like a great boss! “Why I Encourage My Best Employees to Consider Outside Job Offers

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