Monday, October 14, 2013
The boss who takes over your life
I have a friend; we’ll call her Mary (not her real name). Mary’s boss used to make her spend an inordinate amount of time working and hanging out together. Lunches together were mandatory. Happy hour: mandatory. Late night calls: frequent. Mary didn’t feel like she had a choice in spending time with her boss. The boss would sometimes talk about work, but more often than not the conversations were focused on work gossip or the boss’ personal life. Once, Mary told her boss she couldn’t do lunch together and her boss retaliated by bringing one of Mary’s coworkers into the new hot seat. For weeks, Mary’s boss gave her the cold shoulder. It wasn’t long before Mary found her way back into her boss’ good graces. Although Mary frequently complained about her boss’ behavior, she let it continue and sometimes encouraged it.
This situation continued for years until Mary’s boss was eventually fired. I wish I could say this story was an anomaly. Unfortunately, the industry is a breeding ground for bosses who will push past people’s boundaries when permitted. While you can’t control your boss, you can control your reaction to the boss’ extraordinary demands. If you are currently working with a boss who takes over your life, how can you respectfully express your boundaries? How much are you willing to sacrifice for your career? How do you determine what the balance is between work and your personal life?
To learn more about career coaching, go to www.katekibler.com.