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Bad boss? How to survive

Surviving the Reign of a Bad Boss: Strategies for Workplace Resilience

Consumers all over the world are shouldering a financial burden that is unprecedented amidst frightening inflation trends, high interest rates, massive lay-offs and the increasing cost of living. Notably jobs are scarce in many parts of the world, so those employed are holding on to them dearly, to make ends meet.

That said, is your immediate boss just a bad, psychotic and narcissistic person, who has been stressing the living daylights out of you, to the point where you feel like you are going insane. Given the choice, what would you do, if this was your boss? Considering that you are highly paid, hence able to support your family comfortably, but you are very depressed, always anxious and unhappy about your job?

  1. Would you stay in this job even if you were so miserable, because the salary is great? Or

  2. Would you opt for a less paying job, than you are worth, yet have an empowering boss and keep your sanity?

  3. Would you rather start your own business with the savings you have been making over the last few years? Get a loan? Are you a risk taker?

  4. Would you quit and look for another job, even if you are uncertain as to when you will find one?

What a Red Hot Dilemma!

Are you aware that about 60% of employees have left their jobs because they have been frustrated with their manager or organization’s leadership? Let me further add, bad managers or bosses create a toxic and unhealthy work environment. Bad bosses tend to be micromanagers, instilling fear and dread among employees and can be very controlling. Working under such circumstances can be very damaging to employees’ morale, resulting in them feeling inadequate, incapacitated and unable to make sound decisions on their own. This is because they have become used to being bulldozed around, mocked and belittled.

“Bad bosses tend to be micromanagers, instilling fear and dread among employees and can be very controlling.”

If this has not shocked you enough, here is something to give you heart palpitations, studies reveal that working for a toxic boss can lead to clinical depression, a vicious bullying cycle and demotivation to work, hence lower productivity. As if that’s not enough, employees working under bad managers are at greater risk for high blood pressure, chronic stress, insomnia, anxiety, alcoholism, substance abuse issues, overeating, heart attacks among other, health problems. Even worse, studies conducted recently in Manchester UK, showed that people who work under a very critical yet demanding boss and have no control of the workflow are at high risk of premature death.

As you read, do know the intention is not to frighten you but to make you aware, hence monitor your well-being as well as a friend or loved one who may be going through these experiences with their boss. Some people are newly employed and may not know that there exist great as well as not so great bosses. We all have choices and deserve to work where we are happy, valued and productive. With that in mind here are some main qualities of a bad boss to know or be on the lookout for:

Qualities of a bad boss

  • A Micromanager and one who overworks his/her employees.

  • A toxic boss, one who demoralizes and damages their team.

  • A Sense of entitlement rather than a sense of duty.

  • Unprofessional, disrespectful, do as l say, not as l do.

  • Is always late and disorganized, with no focus.

  • Induces a gossip culture and blame culture.

  • Practices favoritism, discriminates and harasses his/her employees.

  • Always Sets Unclear goals and does not delegate.

  • Demands authority always, it’s their way or the highway.

  • Is a poor communicator, with anger management issues e.g. shouts at employees and belittles them.

  • Are unapproachable as possible, aggressive and possess abusive behavior.

  • Do not care about work-life balance for their employees.

  • Demand of the team under him/her to make them look good and while taking all the credit.

Outcome of having a bad boss

Turnover is high - bad bosses are one of the leading causes of employee turnover. People often leave their jobs because of bad bosses.

Employees are unresponsive around their boss – When a boss enters a room and the employees all go quiet, hang their heads, and avoid eye contact – there is a massive problem. This is a sign that the employees feel belittled and uncomfortable around their boss.

Employees report matters to a higher boss - When employees go over their boss’s head with complaints and problems, it can create a lot of tension in the workplace. On one hand, the employee is trying to get help and resolve the issue, but on the other hand, the bad boss may feel like they are being undermined and disrespected (Woodard, 2022).

Retaliation – Some employees may plan to do harm to the bad boss as a form of retaliation for his/her destructive behavior and treatment. Violence is never a solution; things can easily go from bad to worse very quickly.

As you can see having a bad boss is horrible and unbearable on so many levels. On my 2024 Vision board, one of the things l have diarized is that I shall surround myself with people who are happy, positive minded, progressive, principled, polite and productive. I refuse to give anyone the power to make me miserable. What is your new year’s 2024 resolution, to continue working under a bad boss or are you ready to make changes….? Maybe it’s your year to be YOUR OWN BOSS! How about it?

Should you decide to be your own boss, taking a Beginner Class in investing is for sure a good starting point to. Follow this link to enroll.

By Cyd Nzyoka, PhD

Cyd is an independent researcher, writer & HR/Immigration consultant. She’s versatile, passionate about investing, taxes, immigration, teaching at the tertiary level, corporate training and dissertation coaching. She’s involved in writing on multicultural education, social justice and careers among other topics. You may read her works under IGI Global Publications. Cyd is a graduate of Capella University - School of business and technology. Email thoughts and comments to


This blog is written for educational and informational purposes only. By no means do any of its contents recommend, advocate or urge the buying, selling or holding of any financial instrument whatsoever. Trading and investing involves high levels of risk. The author expresses personal opinions and will not assume any responsibility whatsoever for the actions of the reader. They author may or may or may not have positions in Financial Instruments discussed in this blog. Future results can be dramatically different from the opinions expressed therein. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Reprints allowed for private reading only, for all else, please obtain permission.

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