There are only a few things that can make a 9-5 day at work seem longer than it already is, like not being able to check Instagram during the day, Kanye West being off Twitter, oh, and a boss that makes you want to claw your eyes out.
We’ve all been there. You’re wondering if the pit in your stomach was caused by the tequila shots you had last weekend, or the manager breathing down your neck. Or you’re day dreaming that you could be starring in Horrible Bosses, and even though murder is totally against your moral compass (it is…right?!). you’re highly considering it. Because you literally can’t stand the sight of the person that signs your paycheck, which could be a real issue if you have a shopping problem…I mean, habit.
It’s not expected that you get along perfectly with everyone in your work life, but I do believe that people work for people, not companies. Because it feels like we are spending literally all our time at work (if you’re like me and go to bed at 9 pm, you literally are), you need to find a way to survive that boss you hate. So what the f*ck is a boss betch supposed to do? Here are three things to do when you hate your boss.
1. Make Sure Their Attitude Has NOTHING To Do With You
As much as you might want to crawl up in a ball and beg for a cake of rainbows and sunshine every time your boss talks to you, this person still ultimately pays your bills. Before you go full-on 2007 Brittany Spears, take a quick look in the mirror. Now that you’ve confirmed your Kylie lip kit looks great, REALLY look in the mirror (AKA, the expression that means…check yourself). Are you doing everything in your power to make sure that you and your boss are getting along? As much as you might hate this person in your life, you still need to ensure that YOU are being a good employee.
If you feel like you are respectful, do things the first time you’re asked, and are not making your manager’s life harder, try doing something proactive for your boss. Do they ask for the same report every week? Pull it for them without them having to ask for it. Do they like things done a very specific way? Make sure everything you do follows those guidelines without being reminded.
If you feel like you’re an absolutely perfect employee (I’m SURE you are), know that managers are under a looooooot of pressure. At least for me, if I can identify a source for someone being a jerk, it’s a little easier to understand why they are acting this way, and what I can do to help.
2. Have A Calm, Constructive Conversation
If your boss specifically does something that completely irks you, and therefore, makes it more difficult to work, you should definitely consider providing feedback. Caveat: DON’T ever initiate this kind of conversation if you are in any kind of emotional state. You don’t want to say something you’ll regret, and it’s important you get your message across.
If you can identify the specific things your manager could be doing to make your life less miserable, it’s never bad to ask for these things. I’ve had managers before that LITERALLY expected me to read their minds (cool, thanks, glad they thought I had super powers). Once I started asking for them to be more explicit in their directions, and asking the questions until I fully understood the assignment, the problems vanished.
You can even say something like, “I want to ensure I always understand what you are looking for in an assignment. Could we set up a process for directions so I can get it right the first time? It will save both of us time to never have to go back and edit!” Now, this is just one example, but the point is, if you can provide feedback in a way that sounds more constructive and positive than critical, you’ll likely get a positive response.
If your boss is still continually a bully, consider asking them what’s up. I would set up a meeting time (so you aren’t catching anyone off guard), and say that you’ve noticed you don’t have the most productive relationship. Ask if there’s anything you can do to make their life easier, because you want to be the best employee possible, blah blah blah. Whatever you do, make it about making THEIR life easier and in turn, hopefully it’ll positively affect yours too.
3. Assess: Is It Worth It?
In an ideal world, you are spending 8+ hours a day in a somewhat tolerable situation. You aren’t crying yourself to sleep every night because of something your boss said to you, or thinking that The Devil Wears Prada was actually modeled after your work situation.
If that’s not the case, you have some decisions to make. If you’re in the perfect job that’s completely going to elevate your career in some way, then it’s often worth it just to suck it up for a certain amount of time. Find a way to block out the noise, put your head down and get to f*cking work.
If your job situation is so-so in the first place AND you can’t stand your boss, keep in mind that you probably won’t get promoted or get a raise, because your manager doesn’t have your back. Maybe it’s time to start looking for a new job. If you do choose this, I would *highly* advise not to up and leave in a fit of rage. LOL. Find a new job, leave on good terms, and put this jerk you’re dealing with behind you!
When you do look for a job in the future, make sure you get to know who will be your manager. Make sure you get all sorts of good vibes, their employees aren’t secretly bawling in the bathroom, and you hopefully won’t get yourself into a sh*tty situation again.
…And that concludes my TED talk. Have you ever had a boss you hated? Comment below and share how you dealt with it!
The following is an excerpt from our new book, When’s Happy Hour? Work Hard So You Can Hardly Work, on sale NOW.
If you’re trying to get promoted or advance in any significant way in your career, one of the most important qualities to cultivate is self-awareness, and the ability to self-evaluate and figure out where you need improvement. And then actually do those things, obviously. One of the hardest things in life is seeing your own flaws, but you have to see them before you can admit to them, and you have to admit to them in order to change them. Here are some ways to go about finding your flaws and really understanding what they are:
Actually pay attention at your employee evals: If you want to know what your boss thinks of you, unshockingly, all you have to do is just pay attention at your yearly (or whatever) evaluation. Your boss is literally forced to formally rate your strengths and weaknesses on paper, so like, don’t just let that be a wasted half hour. If they say you take too long to answer emails and it pisses clients off, just like…respond faster. Most of the time, the answers to fixing your shortcomings will be spelled out for you if you’re willing to be open enough to listen to feedback and change habits.
Ask a coworker who isn’t catty and whose opinion you respect for honest feedback: This is pretty hard because it requires being a bit vulnerable, and we’re not saying you should definitely do this unless you’re sure that the person you’re asking will give worthwhile feedback. Otherwise you just put yourself out there for no gain, and we can hardly think of anything worse than that. The person you ask should be a little more experienced and higher up in the office, and they should be someone who is widely seen as hardworking and drama-avoidant. The last thing you need is someone gossiping about your vulnerable moments to the entire break room.
Ask your friends and family: As much as we want to think that we can put on a flawless act at work, that’s really not possible. Like we mentioned earlier, who we are in life is who we are at work, just with a little more polish. You might be a little better at faking it with your coworkers than with your boyfriend, but the fundamental flaws themselves will probably be the same. If you really can’t be organized enough to ever get to brunch on time, chances are that you’re also disorganized at work and tend to be late to meetings or whatever. Take some cues from your weekend self, as explained by loved ones, and ask yourself if any of that is reflected in your job. Then work on that sh*t and use your personal life to practice as well. Maybe if you started getting to the restaurant in a timely fashion, you would not only piss off your friends less but also the habit will spill over into your work life and benefit you on multiple fronts.
Pay attention to what you criticize other people for: The traits we notice and critique about other people are often—surprise—actually the things we do ourselves. It’s called projection, and it’s really easy to detect—thanks, Freud. For example, it bothers the sh*t out of you how Michelle is constantly sucking up to your mutual boss and trying to undermine you and your coworkers by subtly throwing shade about everyone else. Meanwhile, you just spent a half hour plotting how you’re going to make Michelle look like an idiot in the next meeting by criticizing her project and then offering to fix what she did. Sound familiar? Yeah, because you’re actually doing the exact same thing that you criticize Michelle for. Next time you hear yourself talking sh*t about a coworker, ask yourself if you might actually do the same thing you’re calling them out for. Once you’ve answered yourself, you can keep bitching about them, but then change your behavior after.
We’re not saying it’ll be easy. Getting to know yourself and admitting your faults is honestly kind of the worst. But if you value yourself, you’ll value your own self-improvement and you’ll be okay with suffering a little and making changes for the sake of a better future.
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For more amazing career advice, buy our third book, When’s Happy Hour?
2018 is the time where it’s f*cking cool to be a woman who’s killing it in her field of expertise and living her life. There is no better example of that than Dr. Lara Devgan, a board certified plastic surgeon, the Chief Medical Officer for Real Self, CEO of Scientific Beauty and oh, a mom of six. Casual. Dr. Devgan shared her best tips for work-life balance with us on our When’s Happy Hour podcast. Here are some of her top tricks for getting ahead in your career and living your best life.
Work Hard And Be Patient
Being an “overnight success” is not a real thing. Even Kim K had to work for years to get from sex tape status to cover of Vogue. Dr. Devgan loves the saying that “every overnight sensation is a decade in the making.” You need to be dedicated and patient, because success does not come all at once, especially for us ladies. “As a woman in a male-dominated field, you’re working twice as hard to prove yourself and maybe getting half the credit,” Dr. Devgan explains. She also says that 90% of plastic surgery clients are female, and 90% of plastic surgeons are male. So obviously that’s daunting and not fair. But that’s life. And no one can change it but you. “If you work really hard you’ll be able to change the paradigms that are holding you back,” says Dr. Devgan. If you don’t like the game, change the rules yourself. Besides, Nice Girls never make history.
It’s Okay To Not Have It All
Even someone as successful as Dr. Devgan doesn’t see herself as someone who has it all. In fact, she thinks it’s a totally false concept. “You don’t have it all every minute of your life.” She explains. “You have the things you need overall, but some more at certain times and others more at other times.” Too often, the media makes us think “having it all” comes in this cute little Tiffany box your husband leaves on your bedside table after a hard work week. Like, no. The real world is not black and white. Most women are living between in the grey area of being a supermom and a killer career woman. “The way I reconcile it is that my kids are getting something out of seeing me working. They’re learning things by observing me,” says Dr. Devgan. So, you don’t just get to have everything. As Britney says, you better work, betch.
But Know That You Can Be Beautiful And Intelligent
There’s a lot of stigma around Dr. Devgan’s field, but she wants every woman to know, “You can be a person of substance and also care about your appearance. Beauty is not a zero-sum game.” Just because you want to be a CEO doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to care about how you look. Society likes to demand us to look a certain way, but then shame those who try to achieve that. Like, what’s wrong with Bella Hadid getting a nose job? There’s legit no winning, so you need to do what makes you feel best. If getting a breast reduction makes you feel beautiful, go for it. Just make sure you do it for you, not the guy in your office who suggested you get some Botox. If you want to be a boss, you have to have confidence. And it’s great to have confidence in the way you look. If you have the ability to change something you don’t like about yourself, go for it.
For more career advice, order our book, When’s Happy Hour?, and check out our When’s Happy Hour podcast. To follow up on Dr. Devgan’s astonishing life, follow her on Instagram.
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The Betches discuss the Men Tell All on The Bachelorette and the Anthony Scaramucci situation. Dear Betches include having an emotionally abusive boss and whether you should tell your friend if her husband is cheating on her. We also played games, fucking duh.
Sending emails is the most awkward way of communicating. You’re literally writing a letter to someone, which requires an intro, a body, and a signature. Alas, it is a way of life now, so you best know how to write one. Here’s how you should be starting and ending your emails.
You could go back and forth with someone all day, starting email after email with, “Hi Marshall” and signing each with, “Regards.” You don’t need that kind of uppity corporate nonsense in your life. If you work with the person, they don’t need (or deserve) an introduction email after email. Similarly, if you’re emailing a client, respectfully start the initial email with an intro, but cut it off after that. If it’s a new day and you’re sending a follow-up, it’s probably a good idea to greet them again.
If you’ve been away for a while and come back with a million and one questions for someone, give that email an opener, such as:
“Glad to be back—a few things I wanted to discuss.”
Same goes for if someone you work with went away.
“Hope you had a great time in Vegas and didn’t get any VD!”
Except not the VD part. That was a test.
When it comes to your point
Get to it—quickly. Aside from like, newspapers, I can’t think of a more boring thing to read than emails. So please, get creative. There’s nothing worse then recycling the same generic email jargon. “Hope you’re doing well.” “Attached, you’ll find…”
Cut the crap. I can’t tell you how many people will appreciate it.
When it comes to actually sending
Timing is important. Avoid sending emails at, say, the end of the day (particularly if you know when your coworkers/boss leave). They’ve rounded their day up and thrown in the towel until tomorrow. Don’t fuck with their groove by sending them a hefty email.
Remember: You’re in control of your emails. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through, within reason. Now get out there and send a professional and semi-exciting (but not too exciting) email.
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