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Surviving a New Boss

Nothing stays the same forever and that includes management.  If you’ve stayed at a job long enough then you will likely experience a change in management. Whether the transition is good or bad it’s important to remember that being flexible can go a long ways.  There are several key factors that can help you survive getting a new boss.

First, it’s important to know that they are probably worried about getting along with the new employees and are most likely just as nervous about starting as you are about having new management.  It’s imperative to be friendly and welcoming to your new boss, they will likely remember you for it later on.  Being approachable will make them more comfortable and lessen the awkwardness.

Second, remember to roll with the punches.  Your new boss’ management style may not be anything like your former boss’.  Pay attention to your new boss’ likes, dislikes, and preferences when it comes to how they manage employees.  Find out as much as you can about your boss’ style and try to adapt to the new style.  It’s also important to not make comparisons between your old and new boss. This is a new person with a different style of management so drawing comparisons is not productive.

Third, be helpful but not overbearing.  If your new boss is not familiar with certain office programs or equipment lend a hand and help them out.  Providing a helping hand with give you an opportunity to find out more about how your boss likes to run things which goes back to the second factor; learning your new boss’ management style.  Also remember that they will need time to familiarize themselves with their new work environment so don’t overwhelm them with too much information. Also you don’t want to appear as if you are flattering them to get ahead of your coworkers. 

Fourth, set up a meeting with your new boss to discuss what their expectations are.  Explain to your boss what your goals, contributions, and update them on any projects you are currently working on, who is involved in the project, and what your expectations are for that project.  Let your boss know what your plans are for upcoming and current projects you are working on and get their opinions or comments on how they would like you to complete your work if it is different than what your former boss had suggested. 

Fifth, don’t exaggerate about your skills. Eventually your new boss will find out what you are qualified for and what you are not qualified for.  Simply because they are new does not mean that you can falsify your skills and take advantage of your new boss.  Also slacking because there is a new boss is not a good plan, trying to get away with doing things that you normally wouldn’t do will backfire in one way or another, likely ending with your new boss finding out about your lax attitude.

When a new boss arrives it can be a stressful situation for everyone involved but remember that they are nervous too and if you are helpful and positive it will make for a smooth transition for all parties involved.     

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