Tag: career change

#44 “My Boss Doesn’t Like Me”

March 26th, 2021 by

Why is it the boss likes to laser in on your shortcomings and ignore your accomplishments? Your performance is above average, you’ve made a few silly mistakes in the past, and everyone has a major screw up. Despite the situation, project or your output, you tell yourself “my boss doesn’t like me.”

And it drives you mad because you don’t know how to fix it.

The Boss Function

Let us start by diving into some fundamentals of the boss role. This is not an all-inclusive list, but it serves as a useful reminder especially if you are a boss:

  • One, your boss exists to help equip you with the tools and resources necessary to perform your job. They guide you to help yourself resolve issues should you not have all those tools and resources. (By the way, many people do not have all required necessities to do their jobs, it is not just you).
  • Two, a boss acts as a compass to point you in the right direction. They are not there to solve your problems. Rather, bosses create a healthy, unobstructed environment for you to try, fail, innovate, and blossom through a consistent feedback loop.
  • Three, your boss must answer to their boss. If your boss wants to perform properly, it requires you to perform properly. Thus, your boss evaluates your performance to determine if you’ve met your goals. (Ideally, this process would look like an objective performance review).

As an aside, a performance review can be quite the emotional roller coaster ride. Unfortunately, I’ve heard and seen many people walk out of their reviews feeling defenseless, like they were ambushed. Nothing should ever be a surprise to the employee during their performance review. That is the power of a feedback loop: the employee is consistently made aware of expectations, strengths and ‘areas of improvement.’

Whether your boss performs the functions listed above, whether your boss is present or absent, is good or bad, etc. is not the point. The point is that a partnership exists between you and your boss. The two of you share a common goal: perform your best so the company can thrive.

“But, my boss doesn’t like me,” you exclaim. Now, where does that leave you?

It Helps to Know

1. By telling yourself “my boss doesn’t like me,” and by believing this statement at face value, you make the situation personal.

It is as if you are telling yourself, “the boss does not like my being, my presence or my humanness. I am not good enough because I am not liked. Since the boss doesn’t like me, perhaps I am unworthy of fair treatment. Maybe I should not be in this job and I should change myself. I want to be liked and accepted because I want to continue working here.” The self-narrative can spin out of control if you do not keep yourself grounded.

A critical detail here: anytime you believe “they don’t like me,” it implies a personal attack against your being and your existence.

Critical Point #1: Is your situation truly a personal attack, or is the boss attempting to criticize your output? These two scenarios are vastly different beasts. Let’s address the more severe of the two: My boss doesn’t like me for who I am.

2. Worst case scenario, your boss does make the situation personal, and they do not like you as a person.

It gets personal when management is critical of the things that make you uniquely you. Personal is when they use your personality or characteristics against you. For example, this might look like “you aren’t smart enough; you are too emotional; your spouse is annoying; the college you attended is insignificant, etc.”

If a boss makes the situation personal, they are faulty in two regards:

  • They fail to provide an environment that promotes self-reflection in the name of self-improvement
  • They are teaching you how miserable they feel about themselves

Critical Point #2: If someone doesn’t ‘like’ who you are, the translation is that they don’t like themselves when in your presence. On the contrary, people who appreciate and like themselves lift others up and facilitate self-improvement. They will not berate or criticize.

To Stay or Go?

Your employment isn’t about the boss being good or bad; it’s not about whether they like you. Your employment is about holding up your end of the bargain; it is not a personal relationship.

If you perform to the best of your abilities, learn from mistakes, and take initiative, there is nothing more a boss can ask of you. In fact, there is nothing more you can ask of yourself. While it is your responsibility to learn, grow and contribute to company goals, do not think you have to change yourself or your values … especially NOT for a boss.

If you believe “my boss doesn’t like me for who I am”, then it is possible they are taking their insecurities out on you. While this is their own internal problem to address, they unfortunately have some power to make employment more complex. Leaving this scenario for alternate employment can be tempting and sometimes justified. However, leaving the scenario may only serve as a temporary band aid offering short-term relief (which some people need in extreme cases!).

The reason leaving this scenario is not the best solution: you will always and forever deal with insecure people in your surroundings.

Leaving is the easy, temporary answer. Strengthening your mindset to deal with difficult, external situations is a much more sustainable, long-term solution (and applies to all areas of life). Ask me how!

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#32 Do You Doubt Your Engineering Career?

October 9th, 2020 by

It’s okay if you read this blog post, you’re not crazy. One of the most difficult revelations you can admit as an engineer is that you are in doubt. You doubt your engineering career. And it is agonizing. Given the student loans, diligent studying, and wishful thinking, your engineering path leaves much to be desired.

Greener Pastures

You had myriad expectations as an engineering student. Perhaps you experienced phenomenal internships with spectacular mentors. And it’s possible you landed what you thought was going to be your dream job. Or, maybe you didn’t land a dream job. Maybe your credentials allowed for an opening into your dream company.

Somehow, the honeymoon phase faded away and now you doubt your engineering career. Your day-to-day is mundane without a clear future among too many supercilious people. The little secret you carry around is that your disappointment has led to job hunting.

Heaven forbid certain individuals find out, i.e. your colleagues or your boss!

This scenario is not what you envisioned years ago. You always believed your engineering career was going to be fulfilling and exciting, with much opportunity for growth and advancement (see Post #25). Now, you painfully doubt your career choice and contemplate moving on to greener pastures, if only you knew where to find them.

A Painful Way to Live

Believing you worked so hard only to question your choices can lead to a bitterly exhausting life. However, the first thing you ought to know is that this is a common dilemma among many engineers. You are not weird. There is nothing wrong with you. Many engineers question their purpose and their future. At times, they blindly throw darts and hope to hit something of value.

Secondly, it sure is tempting to switch jobs, careers or even industries. There are many opportunities out there and you may feel like you are missing out. The logical urge is to leave your current situation behind in search of a better life.

You don’t know if the grass is greener until you get there. Then, what will you do if the grass is brown? How many times will you start over in search of a better outcome?

Third, and most importantly, is that career doubt is a derivative of self-doubt. When you doubt your engineering career, you are placing blame. Regardless of who or what you blame, this career doubt correlates to your being out of touch with yourself. The question is, how much?

If you can better understand the reasons why you do the things you do, the reasons why you think the way you think, pieces of the puzzle will fall into place. Career doubt is simply the symptom of a bigger issue.

Maybe engineering isn’t where you belong, maybe it is. My function is to help you figure this out. Do not delay any longer. Send me a note about your contemplation, and we can work to figure out how engineering should fit into your life: gina@deliberatedoing.com.

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!