Are you working for a terrible boss who seems incapable of guidance, leaving you feeling frustrated and stifled in your career development? You might be lost at how to get work done, be a contributing team member, and navigate your organization when your boss is useless.
There are strategies that can help you break out and become self-sufficient as an individual employee. In this blog post, we’ll explore some straightforward tricks to make yourself more self-sufficient, even with a boss who’s not doing their job properly.
What Your Job Looks Like With a Good Boss
Bad bosses are all over… that’s no surprise. And you might be thinking that you’ve never had a supportive boss now, so why should you care?
Let’s talk about what a good boss gives you. A good boss provides direction, sets reasonable expectations and deadlines, gives helpful feedback, and encourages you to grow in your position. They are motivated, have clear objectives for the team, and communicate effectively.
Say for example we have two employees–one with a good boss and one with a bad boss.
John and Sarah were both hired by the same company as junior employees. John had a good boss who provided direction, asked for regular updates on his progress, and gave helpful feedback when necessary. This allowed John to quickly become proficient in the job and eventually move up to a higher position within the organization.
On the other hand, Sarah had a terrible boss who was rarely around, always set unrealistic deadlines, and never gave any guidance. As a result, Sarah often felt confused and helpless when it came to managing her work. She found it difficult to make progress and felt stuck in her position for months on end.
Eventually, John’s hard work paid off and he was promoted to a higher position within the company. Sarah, however, was unable to make any progress because of her terrible boss and eventually left the company after years of stagnation.
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Criteria a Good Boss Covers
In order to learn how to be self-sufficient, you need to know what criteria a boss really is responsible for covering. A supervisor covers more than just project management.
Align with Executives:
A good boss should help you to align with the company’s executives by keeping communication open and offering guidance on how to stay in sync.
Identify Resource Gaps:
The role of the boss is to identify areas where resources are lacking, and fill those gaps through either delegation or direct involvement.
Protect You From Politics:
A good boss should also protect you from workplace politics, and make sure that when problems arise, they are addressed properly.
Set Priorities Based on Pipelines:
The boss should also help you set priorities and focus on the projects that move the needle. They should be able to look at pipelines, analyze data, and identify where resources are needed most.
Allocate Resources and Budget:
The boss should also be responsible for helping you allocate resources and budget so that projects can be completed efficiently. They should have a clear understanding of where costs are coming from and how to best use funds.
Articulate Effective Workflows:
In addition, the boss should be able to articulate effective workflows that help everyone understand how to move projects forward. They should also proactively note areas of improvement and give clear feedback on how to achieve goals.
How To Become Self-Sufficient Without Your Boss
Now that you know what criteria a good boss covers, let’s talk about how to become self-sufficient without one.
Create Your Lane:
The first step is to create your lane. This means setting up goals and objectives for yourself, along with a plan of action to help you reach those goals. You should also develop an understanding of the company’s mission and values and how they align with your own vision.
The best case scenario for this would be to outline the budgets and timelines for your projects and then create workflows that allow you to independently execute without a supervisor’s sign-off.
Build a Network of Decision Makers:
The next step is to build a network of decision-makers within the company. You should begin by identifying areas and roles where you need input or help, then reach out to people in those respective positions for guidance.
You should also start to build relationships with executives and senior management to better understand their priorities and vision for the company. This will help you make more informed decisions, even without a boss by your side.
Leverage Technology & Automation:
Take advantage of technology and automation to streamline processes and reduce the amount of manual work needed from a supervisor or manager. Utilizing automation tools or systems can help increase productivity, reduce mistakes, and help you focus on bigger tasks.
Sculpt Your Role:
Last but not least, sculpt your role. You should be looking for ways to add value and make the most of what you can do on your own.
Look at job descriptions and ask yourself how you can add other tasks or responsibilities that are currently being overlooked. This will give you an opportunity to take ownership of projects and demonstrate initiative.
By following these steps, you can become much more self-sufficient without a boss by your side. You will be able to make decisions and take initiative while still getting the support you need from people within the company.
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