A better job? You need a better boss!

When you’re looking for something new, it’s important to know what you’re after. For most people, the first points on their list are things like industry, company, type of function and working terms and conditions. Very logical. That’s exactly how recruitment sites and texts are structured.

But let’s turn it around: what is one of the, if not THE, main cause for people’s unhappiness at work? It’s the people around you, mainly the ones at the top. Bad leadership is what causes employees to be unhappy.

I would even venture to say that it’s easier to stick it out at a job in a sector of little interest to you, with a company whose product doesn’t appeal to your imagination, in a function that isn’t always challenging, but with fantastic management and fantastic colleagues, than at a job where it’s the other way around.

If the people around you, and especially those above you, have such an impact on your quality of life, why aren’t they your first priority? Logical of course: how are you supposed to find out beforehand? Vacancies rarely ever tell you: ‘The management is rather poor’, or: ‘As far as leadership is concerned, you don’t have to expect anything at all here.’

That’s why it’s important to try and speak to as many future colleagues as possible during the application process. They are the most reliable source of information about your future boss and the management of the organization. Look for a mentor, someone who – apart from your immediate superior – can provide you with coaching on the job. This person becomes extra valuable when it appears that your new manager has found a better job – or a better boss – him or herself.

Top of Minds

Subscribe to our job alerts

Receive our latest job opportunities each Friday