In the best-case scenario, your employer will be a hard worker who’s able to develop a strong, creative vision for the business, all while influencing employees in a positive manner. If you find that employer, consider yourself fortunate.
Beyond that ideal though, prepare for some other classic personality types. Here’s how to spot them.
#1 The Authoritarian
This type of employer is all about power. She thinks she knows everything there is to know about your business and industry -- so much so that she wants everything done her own way. You’ll recognize her because she won’t beat around the bush when giving orders, to the point that it might seem intimidating at first. While you’ll have to skirt around your boss’ ego, the way to handle her is to take a collaborative approach and ask lots of questions.
#2 The Lazy Boss
Some bosses get to their lofty positions through family connections; others through old-fashioned luck. Sometimes those positions are deserved, but when they’re not, the result might be a boss who doesn’t pull his weight or does the bare minimum to appear to be in control of the situation. You’ll recognize this type of employer by unhappy, rudderless employees who fill the workplace. Without a strong leader with a real vision, the other employees -- and the business itself -- suffers.
#3 The One Who Takes All the Credit
Call her a narcissist, a charmer, or one who’s just really good at tooting her own horn. In any case, this type of boss is not going to let you get the credit for the successes in your department -- even if they were your doing. You’ll recognize this employer by the rewards she collects for herself, all while leaving her hard-working employees out in the cold.
#4 The Yeller
Like the authoritarian, the Yeller might also expect you to adhere to his “my way or the highway” style of management. However, the key difference is, when he’s really upset, he’ll resort to loud, angry bouts of yelling, tossing things about, and other childish, abusive behavior. If you’re dealing with this type of employer, stay calm and don’t engage in his angry tirades. People tend to feel dumb about being out of control when everyone else is remaining calm, reminds career coach Marie G. McIntyre, Ph.D.
#5 The Over-Involved Micromanager
When it comes down to it, the fact that the micro-manager needs to check and double-check your work or to bother you during non-work hours comes down to a matter of trust. In short, she doesn’t trust anyone but herself to do the job right, so she’s compelled to involve herself in every single thing you do. It won’t be hard to recognize this boss -- she’ll be the one in your face half the day. She might drive you crazy, so the best way to handle her is to provide information about your activities before she even asks for them, and to do the most thorough job you can.
In a perfect world, you’d never have to encounter any of these classic personality types in the workplace -- and, what’s more, all your co-workers would be hard-working, decent people as well. Until then though, knowing how to spot them can help you start to cope.