I think we can all agree that having a shitty boss is the worst position to be in while at work. Whether if they are a mean person, disorganized, or they simply don’t care about your needs, a shitty boss is a shitty boss.
I’m not here to tell you that you should quit your job. You should do whatever is best for your overall health and well being. What I am actually here to tell you is that working under a terrible boss will make you stronger.
…and that is a blessing that a lot of people don’t realize.
Having a Terrible Boss Will Teach You the Importance of Camaraderie.
When you work for a terrible boss, odds are, you may not be the only one who shares this belief. There may be a handful of coworkers that have experienced the shit end of your boss’s tendencies as well. Whenever I felt emotionally distressed or was being attacked by my boss, my coworkers would step in and defend me as best they can, or try to comfort and slap some sense into me.
This was honestly the warmest feeling in the world because the truth is, your coworkers don’t have to do that. They don’t have to get involved at all. They could just let you fall through the cracks and collect their own paychecks in the end (Trust me, some people won’t give two shits about you). But, if you are lucky enough to build solid relationships with people and have each other’s backs, when the job ends, you will come out of it with meaningful and life-long friendships.
Experiencing the camaraderie and friendships that I formed with my coworkers was the best part that came out of my last terrible job. Call me crazy, but I would do it all over again if it meant that I got to team up with these amazing people.
It Will Help You Realize What you Will and Will Not Tolerate
Your terrible boss will eventually try to push all of your buttons. There will be days where they aren’t so terrible and then there will be other days where everything seems unbearable. You will quickly learn what your limits are and what you can and cannot tolerate in the workplace.
I’ve had bosses try to make me do a variety of tasks ranging from doing their dirty work for them to recover old building prints from the 1980’s. I can handle doing some detective work and recover some old blueprints. Shady deals under my own name? Not so much.
When you are first going into a new job, you really have no idea what to expect and have no specific limitations on what you will or will not do. (Because if you got the job, then it’s a safe bet that you are agreeing to fulfill all of the job functions). Having a terrible boss acts as a funnel to help you set limitations and gain insight on what you will or will not tolerate in the workplace.
For me, I will not tolerate having 3 title changes in less than one month without a new employee contract.
It Teaches You How to Spot Shady Businesses Like a Master Detective.
I was only at my job for about four months before I got canned. In those four months, I learned how to spot shady deals from a mile away. I was able to pick up on patterns and tendencies that my bosses would do before they made their next big move. Because of that, I was able to mentally prepare myself and my coworkers for the challenges that were about to come (a massive company cleanse of all of it’s workers).
Now that I am on the market for a new job, after reading all of the job listings and going on interviews, I can tell if there is something off about a company. A few signs that I’ve picked up on are grammar errors and vague descriptions in the job listing, an aimless website, awkward over-the-phone conversations and interviews, etc.
In addition to that, you can kind of tell by paying attention to the current employees that are working there. Are they talking to each other? Does it sound like people are busy being productive? Do they look remotely happy?
I know it’s not fair to judge a work place by what you experience when you first arrive in person. But, the golden rule when meeting someone new in any occasion is that first impressions are everything. So, is it still too crazy to judge the workplace by its initial vibes? I don’t think so.
I knew the company I worked for was shady the moment I asked what they did and the interviewer said, “it’s complicated.” In addition to that, Other employees would tell me that the previous generation of workers just stopped showing up to work and/or disappeared without any reason. I learned all of this within 2 days of working there full-time.
Now that I am job hunting again, one of my mandatory questions that I ask at every interview is clarification or more background on the company mission statement. If the interviewer can’t even give me that much,
Have you ever had a terrible boss? How has your experience made you stronger? How did you handle interacting with them?