New Boss in a Downsized Office
Lately, many people have new bosses due to consolidation and layoffs. Because a number of managers are now responsible for the jobs and duties of those laid off, it can sometimes feel like a “potluck” in terms of who your boss might be tomorrow — only a lot less festive. It seems like “change is the only constant” lately, but only YOU can allow it to disrupt you. You do have a choice.
If you have a new boss, you may notice that he or she is watching you closely. Given the recession and tense current environment, that’s enough to give anyone the jitters. Keep in mind, however, that your new supervisor may also be trying to assess how much supervision is right for both of you, because it’s early in the game.
That said, if you’re now being watched 24/7 by a certified TOT (Terrible Office Tyrant™) who is evaluating your every move, that’s a different matter. It’s time to diplomatically and constructively speak up — so you can perform your job (and save your sanity!)
If you haven’t done so already, offer to have a meeting with your new boss, maybe over lunch, about how you can best meet his/her objectives. You may have already addressed more superficial or project-focused matters in an orientation. But your means of collaborating is equally important. Without communicating this openly, it’s hard to be productive. Here are five additional tips to enhance your job security — and general career advancement:
- Have a new employee mindset. Forget the ways that you used to or always did things, or the ways your old boss did them. Pretend it’s your first day. Ask questions and listen.
- Watch closely how your new manager operates, and ask your peers for information about his or her working style. Observe how your boss interacts with others. Be a sponge. Remember, information is the currency of self-empowerment and a key to your advancement.
- Be a resource. Go the extra mile and roll up your sleeves. Know that your boss and colleagues are doing the same. This economy dictates that everyone wear more hats — and so become more proactive in helping out where possible. That said, set reasonable limits to maintain your health and peace of mind — or you won’t be of any help to yourself or anyone else!
- Know that your new supervisor is likely overwhelmed, too, perhaps as a result of assuming the roles of two or more people. The more compassionate, efficient and focused you are, the more indispensable you become.
- Focus on work. Avoid the temptation to be distracted by, or become involved with, gossip, rumors, politics or fear. Just do good work; it always counts the most.
Big changes in the workplace or in your career are difficult to navigate at first, but if you can tough it out, better times do eventually follow.