I hate my boss

Your boss can fire you - and that makes them pretty damn scary. But that doesn’t mean you should hate them with every fibre of your being. If you feel you’ve got nowhere to turn and all you can think is ‘I hate my boss’, don’t panic. The Mix is here to help you handle your boss in a healthy and productive way.

A young woman is talking to her friends. She is saying 'I hate my boss'. This is a wide-angle image.

How can I get my new boss to like me?

“The first few weeks in a new job are crucial,” says Arlene Stone, head of HR at Bath Spa University. “All those little things like turning up on time or early and making sure you’re cheerful and willing, count. They can even influence the type of duties you’re given. That’s why it’s so important to go above and beyond at a new job. It’ll show that you’re someone they can trust,” she says.

“Remember, you’re likely to be on a trial period, so make sure you’re clear about what’s expected of you,” she adds.

Having confidence in yourself will help you stand out. After all, if your employers didn’t think you could do the job, they wouldn’t have hired you.

Talk to your boss about what’s wrong

While a good working relationship is based on mutual respect and encouragement, a bad one is usually due to stress, bad communication or poor training. We’re totally not denying the fact that your boss is a grumpy control freak with no social skills, but it might be worth considering what’s making them act that way. For example, they might be struggling at work as well. So if you seem to have got off on the wrong foot with your manager, ask yourself whether there are underlying problems that might have nothing to do with you . 

I hate my boss! What should I do?

So you’ve found a job you love but the boss is doing your head in. Before you dive into a new job search, take a minute. If you feel like your relationship with your boss isn’t good but aren’t sure why, a good starting point is to do some reflection, says Gill Trevelyan, Head of Good Practice Services at Acas.

Does your manager:

  • Regularly talk to you – at team meetings or one-to-one – to find out how your work is going and inform you of work developments and news?
  • Ask your opinion on workplace issues and listen to what you have to say?
  • Treat you fairly and with respect?
  • Set a good example in terms of time management?
  • Offer support and encouragement to help you develop your skills?

“If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions then you may have cause for concern,” says Gill. “But remember that good relationships at work are based upon a system of give and take. Both of you need to be putting in the work.”

What should a good boss do?

A good manager should provide you with:

  • The opportunity for job satisfaction.
  • Training.
  • Equal opportunities.
  • Clear objectives.
  • Flexible working hours and a healthy work-life balance.
  • Regular communication and consultation.

Bad bosses, on the other hand, take credit for your work and never provide positive feedback. If you feel like your boss fits the bad description, it might be worth chatting to your colleagues to see how they feel. Once you have some support, you can figure out how to proceed. 

What is my boss looking for in me?

In return you should try and give your manager:

  • Effective performance.
  • Pride in a job well done.
  • Flexibility.
  • Understanding of the bigger picture.
  • Regular feedback.
  • Self-reflection and growth.

Like any relationship, both sides need to work together. If you feel annoyed or frustrated by something, it’s important to speak up. But pick your moment carefully. 

You also have to keep your side of the bargain though; if you’re bored at work, think about asking for more responsibility. Not only will you be happier at work, but your boss will see that you’re being proactive which is always a good sign.

Keeping your manager on side, even if you’re constantly thinking ‘I hate my boss’, will help make your job as enjoyable as possible. Or at the very least, tolerable. Standing out to senior managers won’t do you much good if it’s for all the wrong reasons!

Really hate your boss? Why not let it all out on our discussion boards?

Next Steps

  • Acas offers free advice about everything to do with employment law. 0300 123 1100
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

By Nishika Melwani

Updated on 28-Jan-2022