Career Advice - Friendship With the Boss Won't Insure Success

Never depend on a friendship with your boss to insure career success. Think of the relationship as a business deal on your career path. You have something to sell--your skills and knowledge. The boss is a buyer. The price paid is an investment by your employer that must earn a profit if the employer is to stay in business.

Bound by his own ambitions and the rules of the workplace, your boss can't carry out his assignment of supervising you on the basis of friendship. There comes a time when your boss has to say "no" when a friend would say "yes." If you think otherwise you are on the road to frustration and pain.

Spend as little time as possible alone with your boss, because every minute one-on-one is an opportunity for him to probe, get too involved in your affairs. The more time together the more time there is for differences of opinion and conflict.

It is also wise to avoid becoming attached on a personal basis with your fellow peers and subordinates.

Personal relationships on the job will inevitably cloud and restrict your judgment and leeway for action.

Just as your boss is not your friend, he is not your Father Confessor or your nanny. Keep your problems to yourself. To reveal them to your boss is to invite more problems. Your boss may see you as weak and fallible. He will correctly assume you have invited him into your personal life. Moreover, there is probably little he can do to help you deal with your off-the-job tribulations.

It's common sense to realize that your boss has his own problems...personal and professional. Cut him a little slack when he's distracted and irritable. He may be worried about college tuition for his daughter; he may be waiting for a report from a medical examination or he may have had a fight with his spouse.

It is a mistake to think that your boss is always right. Your boss is a human being with all the imperfections that humans possess. If you see him making a mistake it is your duty to help him realize his error and correct it. Help him to succeed. His success may earn him a promotion, creating an opening for you to move ahead toward your career goals.

Remember he has a boss, too. He is carrying out his orders. That may explain some of the things he does with which you don't agree.

Your boss may fail to compliment your good work. He could be focusing on other members of his team who are not performing up to expectations. (By the way, it's all right to call attention to your achievements.) Your boss may have consistently performed at such a high level that he assumes the quality of your work.

You don't have to like your boss, but you do need to respect his authority.

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Published At: Career Advice - Friendship With the Boss Won't Insure Success