What To Do When Your Boss is an Idiot

Strategies for Coping During Company Reorganizations

You are convinced your boss is an idiot because an important account, project, or event was mismanaged and is now blaming the team or department. It doesn't matter that you and the team did your research and gave the best advice given the circumstances. It doesn't matter that you boss was the one responsible for making the major decisions that turned the project into a failure. And it doesn't matter that it was your boss that was responsible for making the choices that made the company lose money. What matters is that someone will need to be blamed and you need to find out what you can do to survive the whirlwind that is threatening to come and make hell out of your corporate life and threaten your livelihood.

First, be able to work with your boss. You might think he or she is an incompetent boob, but don't let them know that. You need to stay cool and examine your options. Look at your boss and see what his/her relationship is with upper management. Does he/she get along well with them? Does your boss get a lot of support? If that is the case, it is likely that upper management will close ranks around your boss if they have supported him or her this whole time. They don't want top management to look at their poor judgment so they will do whatever they can to prevent their champ from looking so bad. Which means they will likely say that he or she did the best they could given the circumstances but that the department needs to be eliminated because it can't be rehabilitated and other departments could essentially do parts of what your department could do. And your boss gets promoted. If your boss doesn't have a lot of support, the department needs to be eliminated because it can't be rehabilitated and other departments could essentially do parts of what your department could do. Your boss will be fired. Either way you will most likely have to go through that wonderful time when everybody know that they will get the ax, they just don't know when.

In bad situations, don't be the nail that sticks out and needs to be hammered back in. Stay low and keep doing your work. You want to be the last one let go because it gives you more time to prepare for your next move. Don't burn any bridges, start deepening the contacts you have made in your company. You want them to be a part of your network that might be able to get you your next job. This also means that you want to maintain a good relationship with your boss no matter how much of an idiot you think he or she may be. You never know if your boss might know the decision maker who will hire you at the next company, don't let an attitude with your boss mess up any future opportunity.

Prepare your resume. Update your skills, highlight the successful projects and be prepared to say how you contributed to its success. You don't want to be unprepared when you go to that job interview. Reviewing your resume also gives you an opportunity to determine whether any new skills that you have can be applied to another field entirely, helping you to widen your job search.

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Look at your company and evaluate if you still want to be employed there. You have valuable skills that benefits your employer. Do you fit in that corporate structure and does your employer recognize the value you bring? If so, consider a lateral move. If you have a good relationship with your boss then you might approach him to see how you can make that lateral move. If you prefer to leave the company, you still want to be able to work with your boss and your colleagues because again, you don't want to burn any bridges. Having more contacts means you have a larger network and you can use that network to further your career in the future. You also don't want to get a reputation as a bad employee where it can haunt you at a later date.

Prep your network. Get people's phone numbers and addresses at where you currently work. Start looking at all the names in your network and start calling and setting up coffee or happy hour dates with them so that you can let them know that you are looking for another job. You should be doing this on a monthly basis anyway so that you don't lose touch with your contacts. The savviest people know that it's who you know that will help them learn about the next job assignment. That puts them miles ahead of people who are trolling through the classifieds, craigslist, and headhunters.

Continue to update your skills. Very few employees nowadays will have the experience where they will spend all their life with one company. It is to your advantage to keep updating your skills so that you will continue to have a competitive advantage in the job market and have an interesting career. It is also to your advantage to keep up with your network to give you multiple eyes and ears on the lookout for the next job. If your company will pay for additional education or training, don't hesitate to enroll now. Get that certification so that you can put it on your resume. Your next employer might find it useful and it would differentiate you from the pack.

In the end it is you yourself who is in the driving seat and can pursue the life you want to live.

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Comments 8 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, I totally agree with you. The trouble was i didn't keep my head down! My boss was a cow. simple as that. And when the redundancies came around, guess who went? yep me. But I have learned my lesson now, and the funny thing is, that I was taken straight back on as a temp by the big boss! ha ha cheers nell

Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

Hi Nell! Circumstances never turn out how you expect, and being hired back and showing up your boss is very self-satisfying. Thanks for reading.

jestone profile image

jestone 6 years ago from America!

So classic,really, what ever happened to leadership and taking responsibility?

Keep on Hubbin'


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

Hello Jestone, responsibility seems like an f-word nowadays. Thanks for the read.

telltale profile image

telltale 6 years ago

Good advice. Am sure at one time or another, one will get to experience a nincompoop as a boss. If you value the job (or the good pay it comes with), one has to bear the circumstances, otherwise if one feels fully capable of one's skills, a change will make one's life better, if you don't meet up with another nincompoop in the next job, that is! :)

Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 6 years ago from The East Coast Author

Hi telltale, it's true, it's a great skill to have, being able to get along with your boss!

Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago

Pretty good advice, as this hub is full of useful information. Some of which I didn't even bother thinking about, until you brought it up. I'll be sure to put your advice to good use then, and thanks for writing this, as this definitely helps out a lot. :)

Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 5 years ago from The East Coast Author

Hi Steven, thanks for your time, I'm glad you found it helpful.

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