Friday, November 6, 2009

Career Success Tip #2 - Manage Your Manager

Your manager can have a huge influence on your career. But everybody's ideal of a mentoring manager who develops you and gives you great opportunities to grow is pretty hard to find in a recession. One reason is that manager jobs are now more vulnerable to layoffs than the jobs of the people working for them. Clients of ours have had two or three managers in the last year, as their companies have reorganized and reorganized. People  who haven't the time to get to know you and are afraid for their own jobs don't make good mentors.  But managers who don't know you can still have a  huge negative impact on your career, just by giving you a mediocre reference.

Too many people working now are angry at and disappointed in their managers. If you are one of them, think again. In the course of your career, you will have many managers, good ones and bad ones. Screamers and micromanagers. Visionary leaders and collaborative entrepreneurs. If you want to be successful in your career, you have to learn how to manage all kinds of managers.

Before you growl that you don't know how, think of your manager as a very important customer for your work. You've probably already had to deal with upset customers, customers who didn't understand what you were doing, customers who were frightened or demanding, and many others.  If you are so young that you haven't had a lot of customer experience, you've certainly had to manage a wide variety of teachers or professors. You've got the skills, really you do. Just think customer (or teacher.)

Instead of hiding when she is angry, wait for her to calm down and try again. Instead of going nuts when he micromanages you, think about what you could do to establish his trust. You might even try saying something like, "You can be sure that I will complete this on time." Experiment. Get good at managing different kinds of bosses, and your career will be golden.

1 comment:

  1. You couldn't be more right on with this. This is the exact kind of career guidance I've been looking for. I've had serious issues with some of my managers in the past and I was never sure what to do about it, until now of course. Thank you for sharing this information.