Two Ways to Tell if Your Potential Supervisor Is Any Good

Lauren Krause
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A bad boss can quickly become a long-term thorn in an employee’s side. There are two small ways to tell whether to move forward with an opportunity or run for the hills. Listening to cues in the interview and gathering little snippets of a supervisor’s overall understanding of the workplace and what technology is involved can save job seekers a lot of stress later.

Listening to audio cues in an interview can save job seekers a lot of time and heartache when trying to dodge bad bosses. These audio cues involve small things that most people wouldn't notice right off the bat, but can save a potential employee from a lot of professional stress and aggravation. For example, listen to a potential employer's pronoun usage. If a supervisor uses pronouns in such a manner as "…you will face a lot of ambiguity," don't expect that boss to be a mentor. He'll often leave the job seeker to deal with issues and difficulties alone. If he uses first-person pronouns such as "I" or "my" to describe the department's overall success, a job seeker can expect achievements and accomplishments to go largely unnoticed. A boss who uses first-person pronouns may even take credit away from workers in front of higher-ups so that he can look good to his supervisor.

In the ever-growing IT arena, one of the most common complaints among IT professionals is that a manager doesn't have any basic or advanced understanding of the technology used or developed by the company. For example, a manager who works in server management but doesn't understand how a server-based network works isn't going to be a very effective supervisor or project manager. While he doesn't need to be an expert, a good supervisor will have a solid understanding of his environment or, at the very least, will be very willing and eager to learn. Before accepting any job offers, be sure to investigate the supervisor's background if possible, especially if the interview didn't go very smoothly. If a job seeker is unsure about a supervisor, he can always talk to current employees before accepting a job. Some professionals may not be daunted by taking a job under a bad boss, but remember that while bad bosses are preferable over unemployment, bad bosses are also a top reason why employees head back into the job search.

No one wants to work for a bad boss, but job seekers can sort through potential employers using these tips to find good supervisors. Taking note of important audio cues and digging into a supervisor's background are two very good ways to avoid what could become a terrible professional experience, even if it is slightly better than being unemployed.

"World's Best Boss" by Kumar Appaiah licensed by CC BY-SA 2.0


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