How to handle a tough boss

The Ticker

May 28, 1991|By Julius Westheimer

If you're fed up with your boss, and at the same time convinced he is all wrong, what path should you take? A good story, in Working Woman's June issue, answers some questions.

Excerpts: "If you're convinced you're right, think again. You could be looking at the situation all wrong. . . Ask yourself why you're so angered by your boss's criticism; do you sense some truth in it?. . . Appealing to his superior would be fruitless and potentially devastating. The superior picked your boss because he acts in a way the firm considers desirable. . . The bad boss rarely thinks he is bad; you can be sure your superior has reasons for acting the way he does. . . Let's face it: To most of us a boss is somebody we must please. . . Solution: get along with that boss. Acknowledge his concerns and assure him you will work on them, but don't be a lapdog because subservience won't get you into upper management. . . Alternative: Don't quit, but find another boss within the firm." (A note: For every "he" above, I guess we could substitute "he/she," but I'm quoting the article directly.)

JOB HUNT: If you're 55 or older, how do you change jobs? Robert Otterbourg, corporate consultant, has these hints: Convince employers you're still an achiever. ("Don't send off signals that suggest your mind is on retirement and that you won't give the firm your all."). . . Be enthusiastic and energetic in interviews. ("Interviews are no time for complacency. Show hiring managers through attitude and behavior that you can outwork a 35-year old any day."). . . Revitalize a stagnant network. ("Seek out old contacts aggressively. Prioritize your old list by position level. Before arranging interviews with companies, cull your network for people who can supply new information about the firm.") . . . Be persistent. ("Even though the job market is tight, you can land a high-level position.")

WORKPLACE HEALTH: "A study of more than 45,000 people showed no connection between coffee and heart disease, even though coffee drinkers developed the disease at a higher rate than non-drinkers. Why? Because coffee drinkers were also more likely to smoke, avoid exercise and eat high-fat diets." (Healthy Decisions, P.O. Box 1015, Bel Air, Md., 21014.)

WORKPLACE WISDOM: "When assessing a job applicant's resume, don't ignore experience in volunteer organizations. Unlike managers whose subordinates are on the payroll, managers in a volunteer organization have experienced success in leading unpaid workers. To accomplish this, the leaders must possess enthusiasm, energy, willingness to take risks and personal warmth -- all valuable qualities for corporations." (Diversified Insurance Industries newsletter via WBAL's John Patti.)

l,3 MONTH-ENDERS: Be sure to lock your car doors when driving anywhere. Last week a rough-looking man tried to open my passenger door in heavy traffic. Had he entered and poked a gun, or facsimile, in my ribs, no one could have stopped him and he could have taken us anywhere. . . Put every dollar you can in your retirement program. Reason? Money invested at, say, 8 percent in a tax-deferred retirement program will double in nine years (Rule of 72), whereas non-retirement money subject to taxes grows much more slowly. (Rule of 72: Money doubles in the number of years in which the interest rate is divisible into 72.). . . "The future is that time when you wish you'd done what you aren't doing now." (Fixed Income Letter). . . Did you know that one worker out of every 27 is injured on the job?. . . ."Fishing is the pastime favored by most men." (Backpacker). . . Kiplinger Washington Letter says the glut of office space will last several years, with not much relief even after recession ends. . . "This man must be very ignorant, for he answers every question he is asked." (Voltaire). . . "The best way of answering a bad argument is to let it go on." (Bits & Pieces) . . . Day after tomorrow, the government issues one-year Treasury bills, free of state income taxes. For details, call the Federal Reserve, (301) 576-3553.

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