8 Ways to Survive a Horrible Boss

Ways to Survive a Horrible Boss

It might feel like there’s no way to thrive and thrive under a terrible boss. But the truth is, you can. There are ways to make your job and your life bearable under such a circumstance. You just need to know what they are and how to implement them. Keep reading to find out more. A bad boss isn’t a dealbreaker, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get your job done well or efficiently. A bad boss is only going to hurt you if you let it. It means you have some room for improvement in the skill sets that your manager needs from you in order for you to grow as an employee, not just in the role that they have set up for you at this point in time. That said, being sick of working with an incompetent boss can cause stress that can negatively affect other parts of your life too — which is why it’s important to figure out how to handle this situation effectively and avoid making things worse than they need to be.

Figure out why the boss is bad.

If you get into a position with a bad boss, you could be in a situation where you’re frustrated at the fact that they just aren’t qualified to be leading others. It’s important to know this about your boss so you don’t unfairly assign all of their deficiencies to you. Once you have that understanding, it’s up to you to figure out why your boss is the way they are, in order to come to a place where you’re at peace with it and can move on to other things. Ask yourself why your boss is the way they are. What are they struggling with? Maybe they had a bad experience in a previous role that’s causing them to be less than stellar at their current gig. Or maybe they’re having financial issues, and they’re trying to make ends meet with what they have. Whatever it is, you need to dig a little deeper than the usual “they suck” venting to come to a place of peace with it.

Organize and strategize for battle.

When you’re in a bad situation, the most important thing you can do is take a step back, reflect on what’s happening, and then figure out what you need to do to make things better. Now, there’s no way you can change a bad boss, but you can change how you deal with it. You need to take stock of the situation, assess what your options are, and then make the best out of them. Start strategizing by thinking about how you can make the best of the job you have under your current circumstances. What do you like about it? What skills do you have that you can use to make it better? What other roles could you look into that would be better suited to your skills and experience level?

Stay positive and be resilient.

If you’re feeling like there’s no way you can get through a terrible work situation, it’s important to remember that you’re allowed to feel whatever you feel. It doesn’t make you a bad person or unworthy of being there, it’s just how you’re feeling at the time. You’re allowed to be frustrated, sad, or angry about your current job situation. That doesn’t mean that you have to let that negative emotion control your actions. Thankfully, you don’t have to. Resilience is all about being able to control your actions, but not letting the anger or frustration that your boss makes you feel take over. Remind yourself that you don’t deserve treatment from your boss the way they are treating you. You deserve so much better.

Assign clear goals to yourself, and stick to them.

While you don’t have to change who you are in order to thrive under a terrible boss, you can make things easier on yourself by setting your expectations up front. When you first start working with someone, it’s a great idea to go over your expectations on paper with them. This can be anything from what days you’re expected to be in the office, how much time you should be spending working, and how you expect your work to be used. Make sure you keep those expectations up to date whenever they change. It’s also a good idea to set up a system where you can let them know when you need a break from work if you need one. Having those expectations in writing and up front will allow you to set them up for better and avoid any unnecessary confusion or frustration down the line. If your boss does have expectations for you that are different from your own, it might be worth speaking to them about it. You never know, they might be having trouble understanding why you feel the way you do about certain things and could use some help understanding your own boundaries better.

Learn to speak up without being a drama queen.

Dealing with a terrible boss can make you feel like you have to speak up and defend yourself more than you normally would. This is normal. You don’t want to come across as an ungrateful person who doesn’t appreciate what they have or what they’re doing. That said, you do want to make sure you speak up if something is happening that is making you uncomfortable or is causing you to feel mistreated in some way. You want to make sure you speak up while still doing so in a way that doesn’t seem completely ungrateful or out of the blue. Try asking your boss something like, “Is there something I can do for you today that will help you get through this task?” If you have a problem that is interfering with your work and is making you feel bad, let your manager know about it and let them take care of it so that you aren’t left with the aftereffects of it.

Don’t take anything personally.

When you’re in a bad situation at work, it’s easy to start taking things that are said and done very personally. You want to make sure that you don’t do this, because it’s important that you keep your emotions in check and not let your boss’s actions get to you. If you have to remind yourself that your boss doesn’t know what they’re doing or that they’re in a bad place themselves, you need that reminder to keep you from getting too upset by things that are said or done. It’s important that you don’t let anything that your boss does get to you, whether it’s in a good way or a bad way. It’s often important that you keep yourself from falling into the trap of letting things that have happened to you get to you, because once somebody has gotten to you, they’re likely to keep doing it. Once you’ve plugged that hole, you need to slow yourself down and keep yourself from letting things get to you so that you don’t end up falling apart when they inevitably do.

Build a network of trusted colleagues you can rely on.

Great bosses are good at building close relationships with their employees. That said, it’s also important to remember that you don’t have to let your boss’s relationship with you affect the way they treat you. Being able to hold your own, stand up for yourself, and take care of yourself is an important part of making it through a terrible work situation. You need to make sure that you don’t let your boss’s actions get to you and that you’re able to make a smooth transition from one bad situation to another. Find people that you can trust to help you through tough times and difficult relationships. The people you surround yourself with and the people you trust to be there for you when things are rough can make or break a terrible situation. It’s important that you make those people a part of your plan for dealing with a bad boss.

Get a mentor or find new role models to look up to.

It’s also important that you find somebody to talk to, especially someone who you can trust, when things start to get tough. When things start to get tough, when you start feeling like you want to talk to somebody but you can’t find that figure on your boss. Well, keep searching to new one you can take as mentor. It is senior employee or other boss from other section. Remember, you come to work professionally and as long you can gain that goal from other people, it’s wouldn’t problem.


Bad boss always exist even you didn’t want to. The best way to survive is to remember that your goal in workplace is to work professionally and get pay for that. With mindset like that, you will more resilient to face all hurdle on your face and keep moving.