You'll work with a number of different types of bosses throughout your career, and it's probably that, sometimes, you won't always get along well with all of them. While you might work for some of the best leaders out there who teach you a lot and help you to grow your skills, you might also end up working for some leaders who are, well, far from leaders.
Of course, it's key that you always maintain professionalism so as to not burn bridges workplace, but it's OK to acknowledge that some bosses are just plain annoying to deal with.
Here's how to deal with 13 types of annoying bosses.
1. The Micromanaging Boss
The micromanager boss is the one who is always hovering over you when you're trying to do your work. They ask you to CC them on every email, and they overexplain things a thousand times and watch you work to make sure you're doing it right... even though you're a professional.
How to Deal: Prove yourself.
Sometimes, it's just a matter of proving it to this boss that they don't need to hover over you. You might even have a conversation with them to remind them that you have experience and the skills to do your job — that's why they'd hired you, after all. After some time, they'll hopefully ease up once they learn to develop trust in you.
2. The Condescending Boss
The condescending boss is the one who belittles you when they speak to you. Though you're an accomplished professional, they still talk down to you.
How to Deal: Stick up for yourself.
You're a professional, and it's important that you remember that. Do your best to keep your spirits high and do your work the best you can. If there are lessons to be learned in what your boss says to you (even if their delivery is harsh or unwarranted), be open to those messages. But if it gets to be too much, staying in a toxic work environment isn't necessarily worth it.
3. The Chit Chatter Boss
The chit chatter boss is, of course, the one who always comes into work to chew your ear off instead of to actually doing their work or allowing you to do your own.
How to Deal: Set boundaries.
The chit chatter boss can consume a lot of your time and energy, and that's why it's important to set boundaries with this boss — yes, even though they are your boss, you still need boundaries. Let them know that you are busy doing the job that they'd hired you to do. Respectfully, of course.
4. The Alarmist Boss
The alarmist boss is known for fear mongering or freaking out over little non-issues in the office. They can hurt the company morale and spread negative energy around the office.
How to Deal: Keep level-headed.
Your best bet for dealing with an alarmist boss is to not allow yourself to fall for their irrational fears. Do your best to keep a level head and a peaceful state of mind while at work. For some people, this means hitting the gym or meditating daily. Take care of yourself so that you can keep calm when things do hit the fan — and no the difference between an actual problem at work and your boss' irrational fear.
5. The Boss with No Respect for a Work-Life Balance
This boss is the one who is always calling and emailing you during off-hours and on the weekends.
How to Deal: Have a serious conversation.
You need some semblance of a work-life balance in order to not burn yourself out. While, sometimes, there are certainly work emergencies that may demand your attention, you can't always be on call for your boss (unless that's in your contract). So have a conversation with your boss to let them know that you need this time away from work in order to give your best performance when you are at work. If they still can't respect that, it may be time to move on to a job with a boss who does.
6. The Negligent Boss
The negligent boss is the one who doesn't take the work seriously, which leaves you to pick up a lot of their mess. It also hurts the company culture because they're not leading by example, and others may take on their same mentality.
How to Deal: Consider a new job.
The reality is that you can't force someone to care about the job at hand. You can't change people. But you can change your situation and look for a new job if it's getting to be too much for you.
7. The MIA Boss
This is the boss who is always out of the office and never available. Of course, everyone is allowed to take their paid time off — and you should, too! — but this is the boss who is seriously never around. And they seldom plan for their absence either, leaving you to deal with the messes they may leave behind.
How to Deal: Talk to your boss about planning ahead next time.
Have a conversation with your boss the next time they're around about what would be helpful for you that they could do the next time before they leave. If they continue to let you down and leave you with their mess, it might be time to have a conversation with human resources or consider taking a new job elsewhere. You can't be doing everyone else's job while also trying to manage your own work.
8. The Interrupter
The interrupter is the boss who is always talking over everyone in meetings.
How to Deal: Politely stop them.
Interrupt the interrupter, politely. Let your boss know that you're speaking, and while you'd like to hear their two cents, you politely ask that you can have the mic for a moment.
9. The Mansplaining Boss
The mansplainer boss is a male boss who is always explaining concepts to women in the office in a belittling, condescending and sexist way. They show little regard for their female staff's experience and/or skills in the workplace, despite having hired them for those exact experiences and skills.
How to Deal: Complain to human resources.
While you shouldn't have to quit your job for a sexist boss, it may be time to look for a new job and work for someone who shows respect. Of course, before it gets to this stage, you can take up your concerns with human resources to try to step in, too.
10. The Control Freak
The control freak boss is always worried about passing off responsibilities and, instead, doesn't delegate like they should. They try to do all the work themselves, even though it's your job.
How to Deal: Have a conversation about expectations.
Talk to your boss about what their expectations for you are, and then share your own expectations. After all, you're a professional who has been hired to do a certain job, and you should be given the trust to do that job until proven otherwise.
11. The Always Dissatisfied Boss
The boss who is always dissatisfied is the one who can never be pleased. No matter what you do, this boss always finds something to complain about. They'll never recognize your hard work or congratulate you on your successes.
How to Deal: Continue doing your best.
The reality is that you can't force someone to see your hard work or acknowledge the effort you put in or the successes you've had. All you can do is keep your head up high and continue working hard like you know you are. If it gets to be too much, you can always look elsewhere.
12. The Uncommunicative Boss
This boss never communicates important matters that affect employees. They may brush issues under the rug and/or spring startling news upon employees, which can keep staff on edge and, therefore, unable to perform at their best.
How to Deal: Open lines of communication.
Conversations are two-way streets. If you find that your boss does a poor job at communicating with you, try opening the lines of communication by doing a better job yourself. The more you reach out and request private time to talk, the more you can ask questions and get the answers you want or need.
13. The Out-of-Control Boss
The out-of-control boss is the one who is totally impulsive and you never know what they're going to do next. Maybe they up and leave on a month-long vacation, or they fire someone on the spot, or they change the entire direction of a project last minute... or something else entirely. You can never be too sure what you're going to have to deal with when you get to work.
How to Deal: Be prepared.
Do your best to prepare yourself for possible change in the office. Whether this means having back-up plans or making sure you have enough resources to support you, do what you can to stay on top of whatever might be thrown your way.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.