How to Choose Your Next Boss

How to Choose Your Next Boss

As you begin your job search, think not only about the qualities you are seeking in your next job, but the qualities you are seeking in your next boss, and aspire to surround yourself with accomplished professionals you can learn from.

It’s conventional wisdom that people “don’t quit the job, they quit the boss.” Conflicts with managers are mainstays of closed-door human resources meetings and often result in resignations. The most common attributes of managers who experience a high amount of team turnover include:

Micromanaging: If you have ever had a boss who commented on how you formatted an internal document, you have experienced a micromanager.

Withholding information: That new project you’re working on? It’s actually part of a larger, corporate initiative. But you were told that by someone on another team, not your boss.

Indifference: Were you ever responsible for a task at work and you knew that it would be impossible to fulfill? Perhaps because of its deadline or limited resources? If you shared that concern with your manager and he or she changed the topic or tried to minimize your concern, that’s indifference.

Unavailability: Everyone has exceptionally busy days and weeks, but it is irresponsible to rarely meet with employees and to be unresponsive to their requests.

Not recognizing unique strengths of their team members: Everyone has their own skill set and it is up to managers to keep their teams focused on the goal but also ferret out—and put to use—the unique skills of team members.

When you begin to search for your next job, pay special attention to the hiring manager—your next boss. Ideally, you want to work with someone who is engaged with you during the interview, gives you ample time to ask questions, and will respond directly to you with any follow-up questions you may have.

Some questions you might ask your next boss include:

  • What would your predecessor say they learned from you?
  • What is your preferred method of communication?
  • What would you say is your best quality—and your most challenging?

In addition to questions, you should research your boss externally by visiting their LinkedIn page, Googling them, and scrolling through Glassdoor reviews.

Ultimately, you want your next boss to be someone who is fair and intelligent—and someone you will learn from!

If you need support in your job search—whether it’s clarifying the type of work you would like to be doing or creating a professionally written resume, contact San Francisco-based resume writer, Robin Kelley, at Resume Preferred to schedule an introductory call.

If you’re a senior executive and are seeking to capture and convey your value in the marketplace—and achieve the next level of career success—contact Leadership Career Consultant Amy Phillip.