Your Boss Is Making You Sick

There was an interesting piece in Lifehacker yesterday that summarized a number of studies on the effects a bad boss can have on your life.  Among other sources, it cites a study by Université Francois Rabelais, and published in the Journal of Business and Psychology (but you  can read about it in The Atlantic).  The gist of that study as well as the others they mention is that the effect of having a bad boss can go way beyond the office:

The psychological climate in which you work has a lot to do with your health and happiness. Recent research has found, perhaps not surprisingly, that bad bosses can affect how your whole family relates to one another. They can also affect your physical healthraising your risk for heart disease.

The Lifehacker article goes on to discuss a number of ways in which one can deal with a bad boss including hobbies, meditation, the HR department, leaving, and others. Of interest to me is that they don’t discuss my preferred solution which is not to get yourself working for a bad boss in the first place.

As I’ve mentioned before, the very first question one should ask when discussing a new job opportunity with a recruiter is “to whom do I report?”  Once you have that name, it’s on you to do every bit of research you can to find out if that person is a fantastic supervisor or Miranda Priestly, the bad boss from hell in The Devil Wears Prada.  Talk to contacts at the company or people who’ve worked for/with the boss-to-be.  A nice title, a nice paycheck, and other things should not cloud your thinking about the potential gig if the boss doesn’t check out.

Of course many of us have been in a situation where the boss changes – the dream for whom you went to work is promoted or leaves and working for the new boss is less preferable than sitting at home ripping out your fingernails with a pliers.  Having had that happen to me on a few occasions, I took my own advice and left.  Loved the company, loved my co-workers, loved my job, hated my boss.  No contest.  Is that always the smartest choice?  Yes, as long as your perspective isn’t focused solely on money (and I get that sometimes it needs to be) as these studies show.  It’s definitely not the easiest choice.

What do you think?  Have you ever left a job you loved because of a bad boss?

Enhanced by Zemanta


Filed under Helpful Hints

2 responses to “Your Boss Is Making You Sick

  1. I want to leave because of my boss, but I don’t know whether to take that step as I don’t have another job to go into yet. This particular manager has said such nasty things about me, and at the time she wasn’t my boss directly, but she has now transferred into my department and I really don’t know how I’m going to cope working under her. I’m so stressed out even thinking about it.

    I have a meeting later today concerning what was said (as I reported it and there’s an investigation) and I just don’t want to go through it all or see her or the fellow manager she was gossiping with. The whole thing has made me so anxious, and paranoid too. Bad working environment – honestly I think I’d rather be without the money!

    I’m only part-time, two days a week. It doesn’t pay great, so I could probably take a chance and go without, and hope that a job comes up quite soon. What do you think…?

    • Sorry to hear of your situation but I think you’re making the right move if the gig is causing you that much stress. I hope your meeting went well – maybe I need to write a post about burning bridges next?

      Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.